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Full text of "A letter to the Rev. E.B. Pusey, D.D., on his recent Eirenicon"

V 



ALEHER 



THE REV. E. B. PUSEY, D.D. 



HIS RECENT 



EIRENICON. 



82 



BY 

JOHN HENRY NEWMAN, D.D. 

OP THE OHATOEY. 



Veni, Doinine, ct noli tardarc, relaxa facinora plebi tuse ; et revoca disperses 
in teiram suam. 



SECOND EDITION. 



LONDON: 
LONGMANS, GREEN, READER, AND DYER, 

I'ATEliXOSTEIl BOW. 

IbGG. 
Price Ss. Gd. 



A LETTER 



THE REV. E. B. PUSEY, D.D. 



HIS EECENT 



EiEEisricoisr. 



JOHN HENRY NEWMAN, D.D. 

OF THE OBATOEY. 



Veni, Domine, et noli tardare, relaxa faclnora plebi tuse ; et revoca disperses 
in terram suam. *. 



SECOND EDITION. 



LONDON: 
LONGMANS, GREEN, EEADER, AND DYER, 

PATEENOSTEE EOW. 

1866. 



lONDON : 

GIIBEET AND EIVINaiOK, PEINTEES, 

ST. JOHN'S SQTTAEE. 



A LETTEPt, 

SfC. 



No one who desires the union of Christendom after 
its many and long-standing divisions, can have any 
other feeling than joy, my dear Pusey, at finding 
from your recent Volume, that you see your way to 
make definite proposals to us for effecting that 
great object, and are able to lay down the basis 
and conditions on which you could co-operate in 
advancing it. It is not necessary that we should 
concur in the details of your scheme, or in the 
principles which it involves, in order to welcome 
the important fact, that, with your personal know- 
ledge of the Anglican body, and your experience of 
its composition and tendencies, you consider the 
time to be come when you and your friends may, 
without imprudence, turn your minds to the con- 
templation of such an enterprise. Even were vou 
an individual member of that Church, a watchman 
upon a high tower in a metropolis of religious 

A 2 



4 INTRODUCTION 

opinion, we should naturally listen with interest to 
what you had to report of the state of the sky and 
the progress of the night, what stars were mount- 
ing up or what clouds gathering, — what were the 
prospects of the three great parties which Angli- 
canism contains within it, and what was just now 
the action upon them respectively of the politics 
and science of the time. You do not go into these 
matters ; but the step you have taken is evidently 
the measure and the issue of the view which you 
have formed of them all. 

However, you are not a mere individual; from 
early youth you have devoted yourself to the Esta- 
blished Church, and, after between forty and fifty 
years of unremitting labour in its service, your 
roots and your branches stretch out through every 
portion of its large territory. You, more than any 
one else alive, have been the present and untiring 
agent by whom a great work has been effected in 
it ; and, far more than is usual, you have received 
in your life-time, as well as merited, the confidence 
of your brethren. You cannot speak merely for 
yourself ; your antecedents, your existing influence, 
are a pledge to us, that what you may determine 
will be the determination of a multitude. Num- 
bers, too, for whom you cannot properly be said to 
speak, will be moved by your authority or your 
arguments ; and numbers, again, who are of a 
school more recent than your own, and who are 
only not your followers because they have out- 



INTRODUCTION. ♦ 6 

stripped you in their free speeches and demon- 
strative acts in our behalf, will, for the occasion, 
accept you as their spokesman. There is no one 
any where, — among ourselves, in your own body, 
or, I suppose, in the Greek Church, — who can 
affect so large a circle of men, so virtuous, so able, 
so learned, so zealous, as come, more or less, under 
your influence; and I cannot pay them a greater 
compliment, than to tell them they ought all to be 
Catholics, nor do them a more affectionate service 
than to pray that they may one day become such. 
Nor can I address myself to an act more pleasing, 
as I trust, to the Divine Lord of the Church, or 
more loyal and dutiful to His Vicar on earth, than 
to attempt, however feebly, to promote so great a 
consummation. 

I know the joy it would give those conscientious 
men, of whom I am speaking, to be one with our- 
selves. I know how their hearts spring up with a 
spontaneous transport at the very thought of union ; 
and what yearning is theirs after that great privi- 
lege, which they have not, communion with the see 
of Peter, and its present, past, and future. I con- 
jecture it by what I used to feel myself, while yet 
in the Anglican Church. I recollect w^ell what an 
outcast I seemed to myself, when I took down from 
the shelves of my library the volumes of St. Atha- 
nasius or St. Basil, and set myself to study them ; 
and how, on the contrary, when at length I w'as 
brought into Catholic Communion, I kissed them 



D INTRODUCTION. 

with delight, with a feeling that in them I had more 
than all that I had lost, and, as though I were directly 
addressing the glorious saints, who bequeathed them 
to the Church, I said to the inanimate pages, 
" You are now mine, and I am now yours, beyond 
any mistake." Such, I conceive, would be the joy of 
the persons I speak of, if they could wake up one 
morning, and find themselves rightfully possessed 
of Catholic traditions and hopes, without violence to 
their own sense of duty ; — and, certainly, I am the 
last man to say that such violence is in any case 
lawful, that the claims of conscience are not para- 
mount, or that any one may overleap what he 
deliberately holds to be God's command, in order 
to make his path easier for him or his heart 
lighter. 

I am the last man to quarrel with this jealous de- 
ference to the voice of our conscience, whatever judg- 
ment others may form of us in consequence, for this 
reason, — because their case, as it at present stands, 
has, as you know, been my own. You recollect well 
what hard things were said against us twenty-five 
years ago, which we knew in our hearts we did 
not deserve. Hence, I am now in the position of 
the fugitive Queen in the well-known passage ; 
who, " baud ignara mali " herself, had learned to 
sympathize with those who were the inheritors of 
her past wanderings. There were Priests, good men, 
whose zeal outstripped their knowledge, and who 
in consequence spoke confidently, when they would 



INTRODUCTION. J 

have been wiser, had they suspended their adverse 
judgment of those whom they had soon to welcome 
as brethren in communion. We at that time were 
in worse plight than your friends are now, for our 
opponents put their very hardest thoughts of us 
into print. One of them wrote thus in a Letter 
addressed to one of the Catholic Bishops : — 

" That this Oxford crisis is a real progress to Catholicism, 
I have all along considered a perfect delusion. ... I look 
upon Mr. Newman, Dr. Pusey, and their associates, as wily 
and crafty, though unskilful guides. . . . The embrace of 
Mr. Newman is the kiss that would betray us. . . . But, — 
what is the most striking feature in the rancorous malignity 
of these men, — their calumnies are often lavished upon us, 
"when we should be led to think that the subject-matter of 
their treatises closed every avenue against their vituperation. 
The three last volumes [of the Tracts] have opened my eyes 
to the craftiness and the cunning, as well as the malice, of the 
members of the Oxford Convention. ... If the Puseyites are 
to be the new Apostles of Great Britain, my hopes for my 
country are lowering and gloomy. ... I would never have con- 
sented to enter the lists against this strange confraternity. . . . 
if I did not feel that my own Prelate was opposed to the guile 
and treachery of these men. ... I impeach Dr. Pusey and his 
friends of a deadly hatred of our religion. . . . What, my 
Lord, would the Holy See think of the works of these 
Puseyites? ..." 

Another priest, himself a convert, wrote : — 

" As we approach towards Catholicity, our love and respect 
increases, and our violence dies away ; but the bulk of these 
men become more rabid as they become like Eome, a plain 
proof of their designs. ... I do not believe that they are any 
nearer the portals of the Catholic Church than the most pre- 
judiced Methodist and Evangelical preacher. . . . Such, Rev. 
Sir, is an outline of my views on the Oxford movement." 



8' INTRODUCTION. 

I do not say that such a view of us was un- 
natural; and, for myself, I readily confess, that 
I had used about the Church such language, that 
T had no claim on Catholics for any mercy. But, 
after all, and in fact, they were wrong in their 
anticipations, — nor did their brethren agree with 
them at the time. Especially Dr. Wiseman (as 
he was then) took a larger and more generous 
view of us ; nor did the Holy See interfere, though 
the writer of one of these passages invoked its judg- 
ment. The event showed that the more cautious 
line of conduct was the more prudent; and one of 
the Bishops, who had taken part against us, with 
a supererogation of charity, sent me on his death- 
bed an expression of his sorrow for having in past 
years mistrusted me. A faulty conscience, faith- 
fully obeyed, through God's mercy, had in the long 
run brought me right. 

Fully, then, do I recognize the rights of con- 
science in this matter. I find no fault with vour 
stating, as clearly and completely as you can, the 
difficulties which stand in the way of your joining 
us. I cannot wonder that you begin with stipu- 
lating conditions of union, though I do not concur 
in them myself, and think that in the event you 
yourself would be content to let them drop. Such 
representations as yours are necessary to open the 
subject in debate; they ascertain how the land 
lies, and serve to clear the ground. Thus I begin : 
— but after allowing as much as this, I am obliged 



INTEODUCTIOX. 9 

in honesty to say what I fear, my dear Pusey, will 
pain you. Yet I am confident, my very dear Friend, 
that at least you will not be angry with me if I 
say, what I must say, or say nothing at all, that 
there is much both in the matter and in the manner 
of your Volume, calculated to wound those who 
love you well, but love truth more. So it is; 
with the best motives and kindest intentions, — 
" Caedimur, et totidem plagis consumimus hostem." 
We give you a sharp cut, and you return it. You 
complain of our being " dry, hard, and unsym- 
pathizing;" and we answer that you are unfair 
and irritating. But we at least have not pro- 
fessed to be composing an Irenicon, when we 
treated you as foes. There was one of old time 
who wreathed his sword in myrtle; excuse me — 
you discharge your olive-branch as if from a 
catapult. 

Do not think I am not serious ; if I spoke seri- 
ously, I should seem to speak harshly. Who will 
venture to assert, that the hundred pages which 
you have devoted to the Blessed Virgin give other 
than a one-sided view of our teaching about her, 
little suited to win us ? It may be a salutary cas- 
tigation, if any of us have fairly provoked it, but 
it is not making the best of matters; it is not 
smoothing the way for an understanding or a 
compromise. It leads a writer in the most mode- 
rate and liberal Anglican newspaper of the day, 
the "Guardian," to turn away from your repre- 



10 INTRODUCTION. 

sentation of us with horror. " It is language," says 
your Reviewer, " which, after having often heard it, 
we still can only hear with horror. We had rather 
not quote any of it, or of the comments upon it." 
What could an Exeter Hall orator, what could a 
Scotch commentator on the Apocalypse, do more 
for his own side of the controversy in the picture 
he drew of us ? You may be sure that what 
creates horror on one side, will be answered by 
indignation on the other, and these are not the 
most favourable dispositions for a peace conference. 
I had been accustomed to think, that you, who in 
times past were ever less declamatory in contro- 
versy than myself, now that years had gone on, and 
circumstances changed, had come to look on our 
old warfare against Rome as cruel and inexpedient. 
Indeed, I know that it was a chief objection urged 
against me only last year by persons who agreed 
with you in deprecating an Oratory at Oxford, 
which at that* time was in prospect, that such an 
undertaking would be the signal for the rekindling 
of that fierce style of polemics which is now out 
of date. I had fancied you shared in that opinion ; 
but now, as if to show how imperative you deem 
its renewal, you actually bring to life one of my 
own strong sayings in 1841, which had long been 
in the grave, — that " the Roman Church comes as 
near to idolatry as can be supposed in a Church, 
of which it is said, ' The idols He shall utterly 
abolish.' "—p. 111. 



INTRODUCTION. 11 

I know, indeed, and feel deeply, that your fre- 
quent references, in your Volume, to what I have 
lately or formerly written, are caused by your 
strong desire to be still one with me as far as you 
can, and by that true affection, which takes plea- 
sure in dwelling on such sayings of mine as you 
can still accept with the full approbation of your 
judgment. I trust I am not ungrateful or irre- 
sponsive to you in this respect; but other con- 
siderations have an imperative claim to be taken 
into account. Pleasant as it is to agree with you, 
I am bound to explain myself in cases in which I 
have changed my mind, or have given a wrong 
impression of my meaning, or have been wrongly 
reported; and, while I trust that I have higher 
than such personal motives for addressing you in 
print, yet it will serve to introduce my main sub- 
ject, and give me an opportunity for remarks 
which bear upon it indirectly, if I dwell for a page 
or two on such matters contained in your Volume 
as concern myself. 

1. The mistake which I have principally in view 
is the belief which is widely spread, that I have 
publicly spoken of the Anglican Church as "the 
great bulwark against infidelity in this land." In 
a pamphlet of yours a year old, you spoke of " a 
very earnest body of Roman Catholics," who " re- 
joice in all the workings of God the Holy Ghost in 
the Church of England (whatever they think of 
her), and are saddened by what weakens her who 



12 INTRODUCTION. 

is, in God's hands, the great bulwark against infi- 
delity in this land." The concluding words you 
were thought to quote from my Apologia. In con- 
sequence, Dr. Manning, now our Archbishop, re- 
plied to you, asserting, as you say, " the contradic- 
tory of that statement." In that counter-assertion, 
he was at the time generally considered (rightly 
or wrongly as it may be), though writing to you, 
to be really correcting statements in my Apologia^ 
without introducing my name. Further, in the 
Volume, which you have now published, you recur 
to the saying ; and you speak of its author in terms, 
which, did I not know your partial kindness for me, 
would hinder me from identifying him with myself. 
You say, " The saying was not mine, but that of 
one of the deepest thinkers and observers in the 
Roman Communion," p. 7. A friend has suggested 
to me that perhaps you mean De Maistre ; and, from 
an anonymous letter which I have received from 
Dublin, I find it is certain that the very words in 
question were once used by Archbishop Murray ; but 
you speak of the author of them as if now alive. At 
length, a reviewer of your Volume in the " Weekly 
Register," distinctly attributes them to me by name, 
and gives me the first opportunity I have had of dis- 
owning them ; and this I now do. What, ar some time 
or other, I may have said in conversation or private 
letter, of course, I cannot tell; but I have never, I 
am sure, used the word " bulwark " of the Anglican 
Church deliberately. What I said in my Apologia 



INTRODUCTION. 13 

was this : — That that Church was " a serviceable 
breakwater against errors more fundamental than 
its own." A bulwark is an integral part of the 
thing it defends; whereas the words "serviceable" 
and "breakwater" imply a kind of protection, 
which is accidental and de facto. Again, in saying 
that the Anglican Church is a defence against 
" errors more fundamental than its own," I imply 
that it has errors, and those fundamental. 

2. There is another passage in your Volume, at 
p. 337, which it may be right to observe upon. 
You have made a collection of passages from the 
Fathers, as witnesses in behalf of your doctrine that 
the whole Christian faith is contained in Scripture, 
as if, in your sense of the words. Catholics contra- 
dicted you here. And you refer to my Notes on St. 
Athanasius as contributing passages to your list; 
but, after all, neither do you, nor do I in my Notes, 
affirm any doctrine which Rome denies. Those 
Notes also make frequent reference to a traditional 
teaching, which (be the faith ever so certainly con- 
tained in Scripture), still is necessary as a Regula 
Fidei, for showing us that it is contained there; vid. 
pp. 283, 344 ; and this tradition, I know, you uphold 
as fully as I do in the Notes in question. In con- 
sequence, you allow that there is a twofold rule, 
Scripture and Tradition; and this is all that 
Catholics say. How, then, do Anglicans differ from 
Rome here ? I believe the difference is merely one 
of words; and I shall be doing, so far, the work 



14 INTRODUCTION. 

of an Irenicon, if I make clear what this verbal 
difference is. Catholics and Anglicans (I do not 
say Protestants), attach different meanings to the 
word " proof," in the controversy whether the whole 
faith is, or is not, contained in Scripture. We 
mean that not every article of faith is so contained 
there, that it may thence be logically proved, inde- 
pendently of the teaching and authority of the Tra- 
dition ; but Anglicans mean that every article of 
faith is so contained there, that it may thence be 
proved, provided there be added the illustrations 
and compensations supplied by the Tradition. And 
it is in this latter sense that the Fathers also speak 
in the passages which you quote from them. I am 
sure at least that St. Athanasius frequently adduces 
passages in proof of points in controversy, which no 
one would see to be proofs, unless Apostolical Tra- 
dition were taken into account, first as suggesting, 
then as authoritatively ruling their meaning. Thus, 
you do not deny, that the whole is not in Scripture 
in such sense that pure unaided logic can draw it 
from the sacred text ; nor do we deny, that the 
faith is in Scripture, in an improper sense, in the 
sense that Tradition is able to recognize and deter- 
mine it there. You do not profess to dispense 
with Tradition ; nor do we forbid the idea of pro- 
bable, secondary, symbolical, connotative, senses of 
Scripture, over and above those which properly 
belong to the wording and context. I hope you 
will agree with me in this. 



INTRODUCTION. 1 5 

3. Nor is it only in isolated passages that you 
give me a place in your Volume. A considerable 
portion of it is written with a reference to two 
publications of mine, one of which you name and de- 
fend, the other you implicitly protest against; Tract 
90, and the Essay on Doctrinal Development. As 
to Tract 90, you have from the first, as all the 
world knows, boldly stood up for it, in spite of the 
obloquy which it brought upon you, and have done 
me a great service. You are now republishing it 
with my cordial concurrence ; but I take this oppor- 
tunity of noticing, lest there should be any mistake 
on the part of the public, that you do so with a 
different object from that which I had when I wrote 
it. Its original purpose was simply that of justi- 
fying myself and others in subscribing to the 39 
Articles, while professing many tenets which had 
popularly been considered distinctive of the Roman 
faith. I considered that my interpretation of the 
Articles, as I gave it in that Tract, would stand, 
provided the parties imposing them allowed it; 
otherwise, I thought it could not stand: and, when 
in the event the Bishops and public opinion did not 
allow it, I gave up my Living, as having no right 
to retain it. My feeling about the interpretation 
is expressed in a passage in Loss and Gain, which 
runs thus : — 

'"Is it,' asked Eeding, 'a received view?' 'JSTo view is 
received,' said the other ; ' the Articles themselves are re- 
ceived, but there is no authoritative interpretation of them 
at all.' 'Well,' said Eeding, * is it a tolerated view?' 'It 



16 INTRODUCTION. 

certainly 'has been strongly opposed,' answered Bateraan ; ' but 
it has never been condemned.' * That is no answer,' said 
Charles. * Does any one Bishop hold it ? Did any one Bishop 
ever hold it ? Has it ever been formally admitted as tenable 
by any one Bishop ? Is it a view got up to meet existing 
difficulties, or has it an historical existence?' Bateman could 
give only one answer to these questions, as they were suc- 
cessively put to him. *I thought so,' said Charles; 'the 
view is specious certainly. I don't see why it might not have 
done, had it been tolerably sanctioned; but you have no 
sanction to show me. As it stands, it is a mere theory struck 
out by individuals. Our Church might have adopted this 
mode of interpreting the Articles ; but, from what you tell 
me, it certainly has not done so.' " — Ch. 15. 

However, the Tract did not carry its object and 
conditions on its face, and necessarily lay open to 
interpretations very far from the true one. Dr. 
Wiseman (as he then was), in particular, with the 
keen apprehension which was his characteristic, at 
once saw in it a basis of accommodation between 
Anglicanism and Rome. He suggested broadly 
that the decrees of the Council of Trent should be 
made the rule of interpretation for the 39 Articles, 
a proceeding, of which Sancta Clara, I think, had 
set the example; and, as you have observed, pub- 
lished a letter to Lord Shrewsbury on the subject, 
of which the following are extracts : — 

" We Catholics must necessarily deplore [England's] separa- 
tion as a deep moral evil, — as a state of schism, of which 
nothing can justify the continuance. Many members of the 
Anglican Church view it in the same light as to the first point 
— its sad evil; though they excuse their individual position in 
it as an unavoidable misfortune. . . . We may depend upon 
a willing, an able, and a most zealous co-operation with any 



INTRODUCTION. 17 

effort which we may make, towards bringing her into her 
rightful position, in Catholic unity with the Holy See and the 
Churches of its obedience, — in other words, with the Church 
Catholic. Is this a visionary idea ? Is it merely the expression 
of a strong desire? I know that many will so judge it; and, 
perhaps, were I to consult my own quiet, I would not venture to 
express it. But I will, in simplicity of heart, cling to hopefulness, 
cheered, as I feel it, by so many promising appearances. . . . 

"A natural question here presents itself; — what facilities 
appear in the present state of things for bringing about so 
happy a consummation, as the reunion of England to the 
Catholic Church, beyond what have before existed, and par- 
ticularly under Archbishops Laud or Wake. It strikes me, 
many. First, &c. ... A still more promising circumstance 
I think your Lordship will with me consider the plan which 
the eventful Tract No. 90 has pursued, and in which Mr. "Ward, 
Mr. Oakeley, and even Dr. Pusey have agreed. I allude to the 
method of hringing their doctrines into accordance with oiirs hy 
explanation. A foreign priest has pointed out to us a valuable 
document for our consideration, — ' Bossuet's Eeply to the 
Pope,' — when consulted on the best method of reconciling the 
followers of the Augsburg Confession with the Holy See. The 
learned Bishop observes, that Providence had allowed so much 
Catholic truth to be preserved in that Confession, that full 
advantage should be taken of the circumstance; that no 
retractations should be demanded, but an explanation of the 
Confession in accordance with Catholic doctrines. Now, for 
such a method as this, the way is in part prepared by the 
demonstration that such interpretation may be given of the 
most difficult Articles, as will strip them of all contradiction to 
the decrees of the Tridentine Synod. The same method may be 
pursued on other points ; and much pain may thus be spared to 
individuals, and much difficulty to the Church." — Pp. 11. 35. 38, 

This use of my Tract, so different from my own, 
but sanctioned by the great name of our Cardinal, 
you are now reviving ; and I gather from your doing 
so, that your Bishops and the opinion of the public 

B 



18 INTRODUCTION. 

are likely now, or in prospect, to admit what 
twenty- five years ago they refused. On this point, 
much as it rejoices me to know your anticipation, 
of course, I cannot have an opinion. 

4. So much for Tract 90. On the other hand, 
as to my hypothesis of Doctrinal Development, I am 
sorry to find you do not look upon it with friendly 
eyes; though how, without its aid, you can main- 
tain the doctrines of the Holy Trinity and Incarna- 
tion, and others which you hold, I cannot under- 
stand. You consider ray principle may be the 
means, in time to come, of introducing into our 
Creed, as portions of the necessary Catholic faith, 
the Infallibility of the Pope, and various opinions, 
pious or profane, as it may be, about our Blessed 
Lady. I hope to remove your anxiety as to these 
consequences, before I bring my observations to an 
end ; at present I notice it as my apology for inter- 
fering in a controversy which at first sight is no 
business of mine. 

5. I have another reason for writing; and that 
is, unless it is rude in me to say so, because you 
seem to think writing does not become me, as being 
a convert. I do not like silently to acquiesce in 
such a judgment. You say at p. 98: — 

" Nothing can be more unpractical than for an individual to 
throw himself into the Eoman Church, because he could accept 
the letter of the Couucil of Trent. Those who were born 
Roman Catholics, have a liberty, which, in the nature of 
things, a person could not have, who left another system, to 
embrace that of Eome. I cannot imagine how any A^ith could 



INTRODUCTION. 19 

stand the shock of leaving one system, criticizing it, and cast 
himself into another system, criticizing it. For myself, I have 
always felt that had (which God of His mercy avert hereafter 
also) the English Church, by accepting heresy, driven me out 
of it, I could have gone in no other way than that of closing 
my eyes, and accepting whatever was put before me. But a 
liberty which individuals could not use, and explanations, 
which, so long as they remain individual, must be unauthori- 
tative, might be formally made by the Church of Kome to the 
Church of England as the basis of re- union." 

And again, p. 210: — 

" It seems to me to be a psychological impossibility for one 
who has already exchanged one system for another to make 
those distinctions. One who, by his own act, places himself 
under authority, cannot make conditions about his submission. 
But definite explanations of our Articles have, before now, 
been at least tentatively offered to us, on the Eoman and 
Greek side, as sufficient to restore communion; and the 
Roman explanations too were, in most cases, mere supplements 
to our Articles, on points upon which our Church bad not 
Bpoken." 

Now passages such as these seem almost a chal- 
lenge to me to speak; and to keep silence would 
be to assent to the justice of them. At the cost, 
then, of speaking about myself, of which I feel 
there has been too much of late, I observe upon 
them as follows : — Of course, as you say, a convert 
comes to learn, and not to pick and choose. He 
comes in simplicity and confidence, and it does not 
occur to him to weigh and measure every proceed- 
ing, every practice which he meets with among 
those whom he has joined. He comes to Catho- 
licism as to a living system, with a living teaching, 

B 2 



20 INTRODUCTION. 

and not to a mere collection of decrees and canons, 
which by themselves are of course but the frame- 
work, not the body and substance of the Church. 
And this is a truth which concerns, which binds, 
those also who never knew any other religion, not 
only the convert. By the Catholic system, I mean 
that rule of life, and those practices of devotion, 
for which we shall look in vain in the Creed of 
Pope Pius. The convert comes, not only to believe 
the Church, but also to trust and obey her priests, 
and to conform himself in charity to her people. 
It would never do for him to resolve that he 
never would say a Hail Mary, never avail himself 
of an indulgence, never kiss a crucifix, never ac- 
cept the Lent dispensations, never mention a 
venial sin in confession. All this would not only 
be unreal, but dangerous too, as arguing a wrong 
state of mind, which could not look to receive the 
divine blessing. Moreover, he comes to the cere- 
monial, and the moral theology, and the ecclesias- 
tical regulations, which he finds on the spot where 
his lot is cast. And again, as regards matters of 
politics, of education, of general expedience, of 
taste, he does not criticize or controvert. And thus 
surrendering himself to the influences of his new 
religion, and not risking the loss of revealed truth al- 
together by attempting by a private rule to discrimi- 
nate every moment its substance from its accidents, 
he is gradually so indoctrinated in Catholicism, as 
at length to have a right to speak as well as to 



INTRODUCTION. 21 

hear. Also in course of time a new generation 
rises round him; and there is no reason why he 
should not know as much, and decide questions with 
as true an instinct, as those who perhaps number 
fewer years than he does Easter communions. He 
has mastered the fact and the nature of the differ- 
ences of theologian from theologian, school from 
school, nation from nation, era from era. He 
knows that there is much of what may be called 
fashion in opinions and practices, according to the 
circumstances of time and place, according to cur- 
rent politics, the character of the Pope of the day, 
or the chief Prelates of a particular country ; — and 
that fashions change. His experience tells him, 
that sometimes what is denounced in one place as 
a great offence, or preached up as a first principle, 
has in another nation been immemorially regarded 
in just a contrary sense, or has made no sensation 
at all, one way or the other, when brought before 
public opinion ; and that loud talkers, in the Church 
as elsewhere, are apt to carry all before them, while 
quiet and conscientious persons commonly have to 
give way. He perceives that, in matters which 
happen to be in debate, ecclesiastical authority 
watches the state of opinion and the direction and 
course of controversy, and decides accordingly; so 
that in certain cases to keep back his own judg- 
ment on a point, is to be disloyal to his superiors. 

So far generally ; now in particular as to myself. 
After twenty years of Catholic life, I feel no deli- 



22 INTRODUCTION. 

cacy in giving my opinion on any point when there 
is a call for me, — and the only reason why I have 
not done so sooner or more often than I have, is 
that there has been no call. I have now reluctantly 
come to the conclusion that your Volume is a call. 
Certainly, in many instances in which theologian 
differs from theologian, and country from country, 
I have a definite judgment of my own; I can say so 
without offence to any one, for the very reason that 
from the nature of the case it is impossible to agree 
with all of them. I prefer English habits of belief 
and devotion to foreign, from the same causes, and 
by the same right, which justifies foreigners in pre- 
ferring their own. In following those of my people, 
I show less singularity, and create less disturbance 
than if I made a flourish with what is novel and 
exotic. And in this line of conduct I am but 
availing myself of the teaching which I fell in with 
on becoming a Catholic ; and it is a pleasure to me 
to think that what I hold now, and would transmit 
after me if I could, is only what I received then. 
The utmost delicacy was observed on all hands in 
giving me advice : only one warning remains on 
my mind, and it came from Dr. Griffiths, the late 
Vicar- Apostolic of the London district. He warned 
me against books of devotion of the Italian school, 
which were just at that time coming into England; 
and when I asked him what books he recommended 
as safe guides, he bade me get the works of Bishop 
Hay. By this I did not understand that he was 



INTRODUCTION. 23 

jealous of all Italian books, or made himself re- 
sponsible for all that Dr. Hay happens to have 
said; but I took him to caution me against a cha- 
racter and tone of religion, excellent in its place, 
not suited for England. When I went to Rome, 
though it may seem strange to you to say it, even 
there I learned nothing inconsistent with this judg- 
ment. Local influences do not form the atmo- 
sphere of its institutions and colleges, which are 
Catholic in teaching as w-ell as in name. I recollect 
one saying among others of my confessor, a Jesuit 
father, one of the holiest, most prudent men I ever 
knew. He said that we could not love the Blessed 
Virgin too much, if we loved our Lord a great deal 
more. When I returned to England, the first ex- 
pression of theological opinion which came in my 
way, was apropos of the series of translated Saints' 
Lives which the late Dr. Faber originated. That 
expression proceeded from a wise prelate, who was 
properly anxious as to the line which might be 
taken by the Oxford converts, then for the first 
time coming into work. According as I recollect 
his opinion, he was apprehensive of the efi^ect of 
Italian compositions, as unsuited to this country, 
and suggested that the Lives should be original 
works, drawn up by ourselves and our friends from 
Italian sources. If at that time I was betrayed into 
any acts which were of a more extreme character 
than I should approve now, the responsibility of 
course is mine ; but the impulse came, not from 



24 INTRODUCTION. 

old Catholics or superiors, but from men whom 
I loved and trusted, who were younger than myself. 
But to whatever extent I might be carried away, 
and I cannot recollect any tangible instances, my 
mind in no long time fell back to what seems to 
me a safer and more practical course. 

Though I am a convert, then, I think I have a 
right to speak out ; and that the more because other 
converts have spoken for a long time, while I have 
not spoken ; and with still more reason may I speak 
without offence in the case of your present cri- 
ticisms of us, considering that, in the charges you 
bring, the only two English writers you quote in 
evidence, are both of them converts, younger in 
age than myself. I put aside the Archbishop of 
course, because of his office. These two authors 
are worthy of all consideration, at once from their 
character and from their ability. In their re- 
spective lines they are perhaps without equals at 
this particular time; and they deserve the influ- 
ence they possess. One is still in the vigour of 
his powers ; the other has departed amid the tears 
of hundreds. It is pleasant to praise them for their 
real excellencies ; but why do you rest on them as 
authorities ? You say of the one that he was " a 
popular writer;" but is there not sufficient reason 
for this in the fact of his remarkable gifts, of his 
poetical fancy, his engaging frankness, his playful 
wit, his affectionateness, his sensitive piety, without 
supposing that the wide diffusion of his works 



INTRODUCTION. 25 

arises out of his particular sentiments about the 
Blessed Virgin ? And as to our other friend, do 
not his energy, acuteness, and theological reading, 
displayed on the vantage ground of the historic 
" Dublin Review," fully account for the sensation 
he has produced, without supposing that any great 
number of our body go his lengths in their view of 
the Pope's infallibility ? Our silence as regards their 
writings is very intelligible : it is not agreeable to 
protest, in the sight of the world, against the 
writings of men in our own communion whom we 
love and respect. But the plain fact is this, — they 
came to the Church, and have thereby saved their 
souls ; but they are in no sense spokesmen for 
English Catholics, and they must not stand in the 
place of those who have a real title to such an office. 
The chief authors of the passing generation, some 
of them still alive, others gone to their reward, are 
Cardinal Wiseman, Dr. Ullathorne, Dr. Lingard, 
Mr. Tierney, Dr. Oliver, Dr. Rock, Dr. Water- 
worth, Dr. Husenbeth, and Mr. Flanagan ; which 
of these ecclesiastics has said any thing extreme 
about the prerogatives of the Blessed Virgin or the 
infallibility of the Pope ? 

I cannot, then, without remonstrance, allow you 
to identify the doctrine of our Oxford friends in 
question, on the two subjects I have mentioned, 
with the present spirit or the prospective creed 
of Catholics ; or to assume, as you do, that, because 
they arc thorough-going and relentless in their 



26 INTRODUCTION. 

statements, therefore they arc the harbingers of a 
new age, when to show a deference for Antiquity- 
will be thought little else than a mistake. For 
myself, hopeless as you consider it, I am not 
ashamed still to take my stand upon the Fathers, 
and do not mean to budge. The history of their 
times is not yet an old almanac to me. Of course I 
maintain the value and authority of the " Schola," 
as one of the loci theologici ; still I sympathize with 
Petavius in preferring to its " contentious and 
subtle theology," that " more elegant and fruitful 
teaching which is moulded after the image of 
erudite antiquity." The Fathers made me a Ca- 
tholic, and I am not going to kick down the ladder 
by which I ascended into the Church. It is a 
ladder quite as serviceable for that purpose now 
as it was twenty years ago. Though I hold, as 
you know, a process of development in Apostolic 
truth as time goes on, such development does not 
supersede the Fathers, but explains and completes 
them. And, in particular, as regards our teaching 
concerning the Blessed Virgin, with the Fathers I 
am content; — and to the subject of that teaching I 
mean to address myself at once. I do so, because 
you say, as I myself have said in former years, that 
" That vast system as to the Blessed Virgin .... 
to all of us has been the special crua; of the Roman 
system." — P. 101. Here, I say, as on other points, 
the Fathers are enough for me. I do not wish to 
say more than they, and will not say less. You, I 



INTRODUCTION. 27 

know, will profess the same; and thus we can join 
issue on a clear and broad principle, and may hope 
to come to some intelligible result. We are to 
have a Treatise on the subject of om* Lady soon 
from the pen of the Most Reverend Prelate; but 
that cannot interfere with such a mere argument 
from the Fathers as that to which I shall confine 
myself here. Nor indeed, as regards that argu- 
ment itself, do I profess to be ofi^ering you any new 
matter, any facts which have not been used by 
others, — by great divines, as Petavius, by living 
writers, nay, by myself on other occasions ; I write 
afresh nevertheless, and that for three reasons ; first, 
because I wish to contribute to the accurate state- 
ment and the full exposition of the argument in 
question ; next, because I may gain a more patient 
hearing than has sometimes been granted to better 
men than myself; lastly, because there just now 
seems a call on me, under my circumstances, to 
avow plainly what I do and what I do not hold 
about the Blessed Virgin, that others may know, 
did they come to stand where I stand, what they 
would and what they would not bo bound to hold 
concerning her. 



28 CATHOLIC DOCTRINE AND DEVOTION 



I BEGIN by making a distinction which will go 
far to remove good part of the difficulty of my 
undertaking, as it presents itself to ordinary in- 
quirers, — the distinction between faith and devo- 
tion. I fully grant that devotion towards the 
Blessed Virgin has increased among Catholics with 
the progress of centuries ; I do not allow that the 
doctrine concerning her has undergone a growth, 
for I believe that it has been in substance one 
and the same from the bemnning*. 

By "faith" I mean the Creed and the acceptance 
of the Creed ; by " devotion " I mean such reli- 
gious honours as belong to the objects of our faith, 
and the payment of those honours. Faith and de- 
votion are as distinct in fact as they are in idea. 
We cannot, indeed, be devout without faith, but 
we may believe without feeling devotion. Of this 
phenomenon every one has experience both in him- 
self and in others ; and we express it as often as we 
speak of realizing a truth or not realizing it. It 
may be illustrated, with more or less exactness, by 
matters which come before us in the world. For 
instance, a great author, or public man, may be 
acknowledged as such for a course of years ; yet 



WITH RESPECT TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 29 

there may be an increase, an ebb and flow, and a 
fashion, in his popularity. And if he takes a last- 
ing place in the minds of his countrymen, he may 
gradually grow into it, or suddenly be raised to it. 
The idea of Shakespeare as a great poet, has ex- 
isted from a very early date in public opinion ; and 
there were at least individuals then who under- 
stood him as well, and honoured him as much, as 
the English people can honour him now; yet, I 
think, there is a national devotion to him in this 
day such as never has been before. This has hap- 
pened, because, as education spreads in the country, 
there are more men able to enter into his poetical 
genius, and, among these, more capacity again for 
deeply and critically understanding him; and yet, 
from the first, he has exerted a great insensible in- 
fluence over the nation, as is seen in the circum- 
stance that his phrases and sentences, more than can 
be numbered, have become almost proverbs among 
us. And so again in philosophy, and in the 
arts and sciences, great truths and principles have 
sometimes been known and acknowledged for a 
course of years; but, whether from feebleness of 
intellectual power in the recipients, or external cir- 
cumstances of an accidental kind, they have not 
been turned to account. Thus the Chinese are said 
to have known of the properties of the magnet from 
time immemorial, and to have used it for land ex- 
peditions, yet not on the sea. Again, the ancients 
knew of the principle that water finds its own 



80 CATHOLIC DOCTRINE AND DEVOTION 

level, but seem to have made little application of 
their knowledge. And Aristotle was familiar with 
the principle of induction ; yet it was left for Bacon 
to develope it into an experimental philosophy. 
Illustrations such as these, though not altogether 
apposite, serve to convey that distinction between 
faith and devotion on which I am insistinjj. It is 
like the distinction between objective and subjective 
truth. The sun in the spring-time will have to shine 
many days before he is able to melt the frost, open 
the soil, and bring out the leaves ; yet he shines out 
from the first, notwithstanding, though he makes 
his power felt but gradually. It is one and the 
same sun, though his influence day by day becomes 
greater ; and so in the Catholic Church it is the one 
Virgin Mother, one and the same from first to last, 
and Catholics may acknowledge her; and yet, in 
spite of that acknowledgment, their devotion to 
her may be scanty in one time and place, and over- 
flowing in another. 

This distinction is forcibly brought home to a 
convert, as a peculiarity of the Catholic religion, on 
his first introduction to its worship. The faith is 
every where one and the same ; but a large liberty 
is accorded to private judgment and inclination in 
matters of devotion. Any large church, with its 
collections and groups of people, will illustrate this. 
The fabric itself is dedicated to Almighty God, and 
that, under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin, or 
some particular Saint ; or again, of some mystery be- 



WITH RESPECT TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 81 

longing to the Divine Name or to the Incarnation, or 
of some mystery associated with the Blessed Virgin. 
Perhaps there are seven altars or more in it, and 
these again have their several Saints. Then there is 
the Feast proper to the particular day ; and, during 
the celebration of Mass, of all the worshippers who 
crowd around the Priest, each has his own parti- 
cular devotions, with which he follows the rite. No 
one interferes with his neighbour ; agreeing, as it 
were, to differ, they pursue independently a common 
end, and by paths, distinct but converging, present 
themselves before God. Then there are Confrater- 
nities attached to the church, — of the Sacred Heart, 
or the Precious Blood ; associations of prayer for a 
good death, or the repose of departed souls, or the 
conversion of the heathen ; devotions connected with 
the brown, blue, or red scapular; — not to speak of 
the great ordinary Ritual through the four seasons, 
the constant Presence of the Blessed Sacrament, its 
ever-recurring rite of Benediction, and its extraor- 
dinary forty hours' Exposition. Or, again, look 
through some such manual of prayers as the Rac- 
colta^ and you at once will see both the number 
and the variety of devotions, which are open to 
individual Catholics to choose from, according to 
their religious taste and prospect of personal edifi- 
cation. 

Now these diversified modes of honouring God 
did not come to us in a day, or only from the 
Apostles ; they are the accumulations of centuries ; 



32 CATHOLIC DOCTRINE AND DEVOTION, &C. 



and, as in the course of years some of them spring up, 
so others decline and die. Some are local, in memory 
of some particular saint, who happens to be the Evan- 
gelist, or Patron, or pride of the nation, or who is 
entombed in the church, or in the city where it 
stands ; and these, necessarily, cannot have an earlier 
date than the Saint's day of death or interment there. 
The first of such sacred observances, long before 
these national memories, were the devotions paid 
to the Apostles , then those which were paid to the 
Martyrs ; yet there were Saints nearer to our Lord 
than either Martyrs or Apostles ; but, as if these 
had been lost in the effulgence of His glory, and 
because they were not manifested in external works 
separate from Him, it happened that for a long 
while -they were less dwelt upon. However, in pro- 
cess of time, the Apostles, and then the Martyrs, 
exerted less influence than before over the popular 
mind, and the local Saints, new creations of God's 
power, took their place, or again, the Saints of some 
religious order here or there established. Then, 
as comparatively quiet times succeeded, the reli- 
gious meditations of holy men and their secret 
intercourse with heaven gradually exerted an in- 
fluence out of doors, and permeated the Christian 
populace, by the instrumentality of preaching and 
by the ceremonial of the Church. Then those 
luminous stars rose in the ecclesiastical heavens, 
which were of more august dignity than any which 
had preceded them, and were late in rising, for the 



THE BLESSED VIRGIN THE SECOND EVE. 83 

very reason that they were so specially glorious. 
Those names, I say, which at first sight might have 
been expected to enter soon into the devotions of the 
faithful, with better reason might have been looked 
for at a later date, and actually were late in their 
coming. St, Joseph furnishes the most striking 
instance of this remark ; here is the clearest of 
instances of the distinction between doctrine and 
devotion. Who, from his prerogatives and the 
testimony on which they come to us, had a greater 
claim to receive an early recognition among the 
faithful ? A saint of Scripture, the foster-father 
of our Lord, he was an object of the universal and 
absolute faith of the Christian world from the first, 
yet the devotion to him is comparatively of late 
date. When once it began, men seemed surprised 
that it had not been thought of before; and now, 
they hold him next to the Blessed Virgin in their 
religious affection and veneration. 

As regards the Blessed Virgin, I shall postpone 
the question of devotion for a while, and inquire 
first into the doctrine of the undivided Church (to 
use your controversial phrase), on the subject of 
her prerogatives. 

What is the great rudimental teaching of An- 
tiquity from its earliest date concerning her ? By 
"rudimental teaching" I mean the primd /acie 
view of her person and office, the broad outline 
laid down of her, the aspect under which she comes 

c 



34 THE BLESSED VIRGIN 

to US, in the writings of the Fathers. She is the 
Second Eve^ Now let us consider what this im- 
plies. Eve had a definite, essential position in the 
First Covenant. The fate of the human race lay 
with Adam; he it was who represented us. It 
was in Adam that we fell ; though Eve had fallen, 
still, if Adam had stood, we should not have lost 
those supernatural privileges which were bestowed 
upon him as our first father. Yet though Eve was 
not the head of the race, still, even as regards the 
race, she had a place of her own ; for x\dam, to whom 
was divinely committed the naming of all things, 
entitled her " the Mother of all the living," a name 
surely expressive, not of a fact only, but of a dignity ; 
but further, as she thus had her own general rela- 
tion to the human race, so again had she her own 
special place, as regards its trial and its fall in 
Adam. In those primeval events. Eve had an in- 
tegral share. " The woman, being seduced, was in 
the transgression." She listened to the Evil Angel; 
she offered the fruit to her husband, and he ate 
of it. She co-operated, not as an irresponsible in- 
strument, but intimately and personally in the sin : 
she brought it about. As the history stands, she 
was a sine-qua-non, a positive, active, cause of it. 
And she had her share in its punishment; in the 
sentence pronounced on her, she was recognized 
as a real agent in the temptation and its issue, 

' Vid. Easay on Development of Doctrine, 1845, p. 384, &c. 



* THE SECOND EVE. 35 

and she suffered accordingly. In that awful trans- 
action there were three parties concerned, — the 
serpent, the woman, and the man ; and at the time 
of their sentence, an event was announced for the 
future, in which the three same parties were to 
meet again, the serpent, the woman, and the man ; 
but it was to be a second Adam and a second Eve, 
and the new Eve was to be the mother of the new 
Adam. ."I will put enmity between thee and the 
woman, and between thy seed and her seed." The 
Seed of the woman is the Word Incarnate, and the 
Woman, whose seed or son He is, is His mother 
Mary. This interpretation, and the parallelism it 
involves, seem to me undeniable ; but at all events 
(and this is my point) the parallelism is the doc- 
trine of the Fathers, from the earliest times ; and, 
this being established, we are able, by the position 
and office of Eve in our fall, to determine the posi- 
tion and office of Mary in our restoration. 

I shall adduce passages from their writings, with 
their respective countries and dates ; and the dates 
shall extend from their births or conversions to 
their deaths, since what they propound is at once 
the doctrine which they had received from the 
generation before them, and the doctrine which 
was accepted and recognized as true by the gene- 
ration to whom they transmitted it. 

First then St. Justin Martyr (a.d. 120—165), 
St. Iren^eus (120—200) and Tertullian (160—240). 
Of these Tertullian represents Africa and Rome; 

c 2 



36 THE BLESSED VIRGIN * 

St. Justin represents Palestine ; and St. Irena^us Asia 
Minor and Gaul;— or rather he represents St. John 
the Evangelist, for he had been taught by the Mar- 
tyr St. Polyearp, who was the intimate associate, as 
of St. John, so of the other Apostles. 

1 . St. Justin ' : — 

" We know that He, before all creatures, proceeded from the 
Father by His power and will, . . . and by means of the Virgin 
became man, that by what way the disobedience arising from 
the serpent had its beginning, by that way also it might have 
an undoing. Eor Eve, being a virgin and undefiled, conceiving 
the word that was from the serpent, brought forth disobe- 
dience and death ; but the Virgin Mary, taking faith and joy, 
when the Angel told her the good tidings, that the Spirit of 
the Lord should come uppn her and the power of the Highest, 
overshadow her, and therefore the Holy One that was born 
of her was Son of God, answered, Be it to me according 
to thy word."— IVy^A. 100. 

2. Tertullian:— 

" God recovered His image and likeness, which the devil 
had seized, by a rival operation. Eor into Eve, as yet a virgin, 
had crept the word which was the framer of death. Equally 
into a virgin was to be introduced the "Word of God which was 
the builder-up of life ; that, what by that sex had gone into 
perdition, by the same sex might be brought back to salvation. 
Eve had believed the serpent ; Mary believed Gabriel ; the 
fault which the one committed by believing, the other by be- 
lieving has blotted out." — Be Cam. Christ. 17. 

3. St. Irenseus : — 

" With a fitness, Mary the Virgin is found obedient, saying, 

' I have attempted to translate literally without caring to 
write English. The original passages are at the end of the 
Letter. 



THE SECOND EVE. 37 

' Behold Thy handmaid, Lord ; be it to me according to 
thy word.' But Eve was disobedient ; for she obeyed not, 
while she was yet a virgin. As she, having indeed Adam for a 
husband, but as yet being a virgin .... becoming disobedient, 
became the cause of death both to herself and to the whole 
human race, so also Mary, having the predestined man, and 
being yet a virgin, being obedient, became both to herself and 
to the whole human race the cause of salvation .... And on 
account of this the Lord said, that the first would be last and 
the last first. And the Prophet signifies the same, saying, 
* Instead of fathers you have children.' Tor, whereas the Lord, 
when born, was the first begotten of the dead, and received into 
His bosom the primitive fathers. He regenerated them into the 
life of God, He Himself becoming the beginning of the living, 
since Adam became the beginning of the dying. Therefore 
also Luke, commencing the lines of generations from the Lord 
referred it back to Adam, signifying that He regenerated the 
old fathers, not they Him, into the Gospel of life. And so the 
knot of Eve's disobedience received its unloosing through the 
obedience of Mary ; for what Eve, a virgin, bound by incre- 
dulity, that Mary, a virgin, unloosed by faith." — Adv. Hcer. iii. 
22. 34. 



And 



aofain. 



" As Eve by the speech of an Angel was seduced, so as to 
flee God, transgressing His word, so also Mary received the 
good tidings by means of the Angel's speech, so as to bear 
God within her, being obedient to His word. And, though 
the one had disobeyed God, yet the other was drawn to obey 
God ; that of the virgin Eve the virgin Mary might become 
the advocate. And, as by a virgin the human race had been 
bound to death, by a virgin it is saved, the balance being 
preserved, a virgin's disobedience by a virgin's obedience." — 
Ibid. V. 19. 

Now, what is especially noticeable in these three 
writers, is, that they do not speak of the Blessed 
Virgin merely as the physical instrument of our 



38 THE BLESSED VIRGIN 

Lord's taking flesh, but as an intelligent, responsible 
cause of it ; her faith and obedience being accessories 
to the Incarnation, and gaining it as her reward. As 
Eve failed in these virtues, and thereby brought on 
the fall of the race in Adam, so Mary by means of 
them had a part in its restoration. You surely 
imply, pp. 255, 256, that the Blessed Virgin was only 
a physical instrument in our redemption; "what 
has been said of her by the Fathers as the chosen 
vessel of the Incarnation, was applied personally to 
her," (that is, by Catholics,) p. 151, and again "the 
Fathers speak of the Blessed Virgin as the instru- 
ment of our salvation, in that she gave birth to the 
Redeemer," pp. 155, 156; whereas St. Augustine, in 
well-known passages, speaks of her as more exalted 
by her sanctity than by her relationship to our 
Lord^ However, not to go beyond the doctrine of 
the Three Fathers, they unanimously declare that she 
was not a mere instrument in the Incarnation, such 
as David, or Judah, may be considered ; they declare 
she co-operated in our salvation, not merely by the 
descent of the Holy Ghost upon her body, but by 
specific holy acts, the effect of the Holy Ghost 
within her soul; that, as Eve forfeited privileges 
by sin, so Mary earned privileges by the fruits of 
grace; that, as Eve was disobedient and unbe- 
lieving, so Mary was obedient and believing ; 
that, as Eve was a cause of ruin to all, Mary was a 

» 0pp. t, 3, p. 2, col. 369, t. 6, col. 342. 



TUB SECOND EVE. 39 

cause of salvation to all; that as Eve made room 
for Adam's fall, so Mary made room for our Lord's 
reparation of it; and thus, whereas the free gift 
Yi^as not as the offence, but much greater, it follows 
that, as Eve co-operated in effecting a great evil, 
Mary co-operated in effecting a much greater good. 

And, besides the run of the argument, which re- 
minds the reader of St. Paul's antithetical sentences 
in tracing the analogy between Adam's work and 
our Lord's work, it is well to observe the particular 
words under which the Blessed Virgin's office is 
described. Tertullian says that Mary " blotted out" 
Eve's fault, and " brought back the female sex," or 
"the human race, to salvation;" and St. Irenseus 
says that "by obedience she was the cause or 
occasion " (whatever was the original Greek word) 
" of salvation to herself and the whole human race ;" 
that by her the human race is saved ; that by her 
Eve's complication is disentangled ; and that she is 
Eve's Advocate, or friend in need. It is supposed 
by critics, Protestant as well as Catholic, that the 
Greek word for Advocate in the original was Pa- 
raclete; it should be borne in mind, then, when 
we are accused of giving our Lady the titles and 
offices of her Son, that St. Irenseus bestows on her 
the special Name and office proper to the Holy 
Ghost. 

So much as to the nature of this triple testi- 
mony; now as to the worth of it. For a moment 
put aside St. IrensBus, and put together St. Justin 



40 THE BLESSED VIRGIN 

in the East with Tertullian in the West. I think 
I may assume that the doctrine of these two 
Fathers about the Blessed Virgin, was the received 
doctrine of their own respective times and places ; 
for writers after all are but witnesses of facts and 
beliefs, and as such they are treated by all parties 
in controversial discussion. Moreover, the coinci- 
dence of doctrine which they exhibit, and again, 
the antithetical completeness of it, show that they 
themselves did not originate it. The next question 
is, Who did ? for from one definite organ or 
source, place or person, it must have come. Then 
we must inquire, what length of time would it take 
for such a doctrine to have extended, and to be 
received, in the second century over so wide an 
area; that is, to be received before the year 200 in 
Palestine, Africa, and Rome. Can we refer the 
common source of these local traditions to a date 
later than that of the Apostles, St. John dying 
within thirty or forty years of St. Justin's conver- 
sion and Tertullian's birth ? Make what allowance 
you will for whatever possible exceptions can be 
taken to this representation; and then, after doing 
so, add to the concordant testimony of these two 
Fathers the evidence of St. Irenseus, which is so 
close upon the School of St. John himself in Asia 
Minor. "A three-fold cord," as the wise man 
says, " is not quickly broken." Only suppose there 
were so early and so broad a testimony, to the effect 
that our Lord was a mere man, the son of Joseph ; 



THE SECOND EVE. 41 

should we be able to insist upon the faith of the 
Holy Trinity as necessary to salvation ? Or sup- 
posing three such witnesses could be brought to 
the fact that a consistory of elders governed the 
local churches, or that each local congregation was 
an independent Church, or that the Christian 
community was without priests, could Anglicans 
maintain their doctrine that the rule of Episcopal 
succession is necessary to constitute a Church ? 
And then recollect that the Anglican Church 
especially appeals to the ante-Nicene centuries, 
and taunts us with having superseded their 
testimony. 

Having then adduced these Three Fathers of 
the second century, I have at least got so far as 
this : viz. — no one, who acknowledges the force of 
early testimony in determining Christian truth, can 
wonder., no one can complain, can object, that we 
Catholics should hold a very high doctrine con- 
cerning the Blessed Virgin, unless indeed stronger 
statements can be brought for a contrary concep- 
tion of her, either of as early, or at least of a later 
date. But, as far as I know, no statements can be 
brought from the ante-Nicene literature, to inva- 
lidate the testimony of the three Fathers concern- 
ing her; and little can be brought against it from 
the fourth century, while in that fourth century 
the current of testimony in her behalf is as strong 
as in the second ; and, as to the fifth, it is far 
stronger than in any former time, both in its fuiness 



42 THE BLESSED VIRGIN 

and its authority. This will to some extent be seen 
as I proceed. 

4. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315—386) speaks for 
Palestine : — 

" Since through Eve, a Virgin, came death, it behoved, that 
through a Virgin, or rather from a Virgin, should life appear ; 
that, as the Serpent had deceived the one, so to the other 
Gabriel might bring good tidings." — Cat. xii. 15. 

5. St. Ephrem Syrus (he died 378) is a witness 
for the Syrians proper and the neighbouring Orien- 
tals, in contrast to the Graeco-Syrians. A native 
of Nisibis on the further side of the Euphrates, 
he knew no language but Syriac. 

" Through Eve, the beautiful and desirable glory of men was 
extinguished : but it has revived through Mary." — 0pp. Syr. 
ii. p. 318. 

Again : — 

" In the beginning, by the sin of our first parents, death 
passed upon all men ; to-day, through Mary we are translated 
from death unto life. In the beginning, the serpent filled the 
ears of Eve, and the poison spread thence over the whole body ; 
to-day, Mary from her ears received the champion of eternal 
happiness : what, therefore, was an instrument of death, was 
an instrument of life also." — iii. p. G07. 

I have already referred to St. Paul's contrast 
between Adam and our Lord in his Epistle to the 
Romans, as also in his first Epistle to the Corin- 
thians. Some writers venture to say that there is 
no doctrinal truth, but a mere rhetorical display, in 
those passages. It is quite as easy to say so, as to 
atteftipt so to dispose of this received comparison, 



THE SECOND EVE. 43 

in the writings of the Fathers, between Eve and 
Mary. 

6. St. Epiphanius (820 — 400) speaks for Egypt, 
Palestine, and Cyprus : — 

" She it is, who is signified by Eve, enigmatically receiving 

the appellation of the Mother of the living It was a 

wonder that after the fall she had this great epithet. And, 
according to what is material, from that Eve all the race of 
men on earth is generated. But thus in truth from Mary the 
Life itself was born in the world, that Mary might bear living 
things, and become the Mother of living things. Therefore, 
enigmatically, Mary is called the Mother of living things . . . 
Also, there is another thing to consider as to these women, and 
wonderful, — as to Eve and Mary. Eve became a cause of 
death to man .... and Mary a cause of life ; . . . that life 
might be instead of death, life excluding death which came from 
the woman, viz. He who through the woman has become our 
life."— £^r. 78. 18. 

7. By the time of St. Jerome (331—420), the 
contrast between Eve and Mary had almost passed 
into a proverb. He says {Ep. xxii. 21, ad 
Eustoch.)^ "Death by Eve, life by Mary." Nor let 
it be supposed that he, any more than the preced- 
ing Fathers, considered the Blessed Virgin a mere 
physical instrument of giving birth to our Lord, 
who is the Life. So far from it, in the Epistle 
from which I have quoted, he is only adding an- 
other virtue to that crown which gained for Mary 
her divine Maternity. They have spoken of faith, 
joy, and obedience ; St. Jerome adds, what they had 
only suggested, virginity. After the manner of the 
Fathers in his own day, he is setting forth the 



44 THE BLESSED VIRGIN 

Blessed Mary to the high-born Roman Lady, whom 

he is addressing, as the model of the virginal life; 

and his argument in its behalf is, that it is higher 

than the marriao^e-state, not in itself, viewed in anv 

mere natural respect, but as being the free act of 

self-consecration to God, and from the personal 

religious purpose, which it involves. 

" Higher wage," he says, "is due to that which is not a 
compulsion, but an offering; for, were virginitj commanded, 
marriage would seem to be put out of the question ; and it 
would be most cruel to force men against nature, and to extort 
from them an angel's life." — 20. 

I do not know whose testimony is more important 
than St. Jerome's, the friend of Pope Damasus at 
Kome, the pupil of St. Gregory Nazianzen at 
Constantinople, and of Didymus in Alexandria, a 
native of Dalmatia, yet an inhabitant, at different 
times of his life, of Gaul, Syria, and Palestine. 

8. St. Jerome speaks for the whole world, except 

Africa; and for Africa in the fourth century, if we 

must limit so world-wide an authority to place, 

witnesses St. Augustine (354 — 430). He repeats 

the words as if a proverb, " By a woman death, by 

a woman life " ( 0pp. t. v. Serm. 232) ; elsewhere 

he enlarges on the idea conveyed in it. In one 

place he quotes St. Irenseus's words, as cited above 

(adv. Julian i. 4). In another he speaks as 

follows : — 

" It is a great sacrament that, whereas through woman death 
became our portion, so life was born to us by woman ; that, in 
the case of both sexes, male and female, the baffled devil should 



THE SECOND EVE. 46 

be tormented, when on the overthrow of both sexes he was re- 
joicing; whose punishment had been small, if both sexes had 
been liberated in us, without our being liberated through 
both." — 0pp. t. vi. Be Agon. Christ, c, 24. 

9. St. Peter Chrysologus (400—450), Bishop 
of Ravenna, and one of the chief authorities in the 
4th General Council: — 

" Blessed art thou among women ; for among women, on 
whose womb Eve, who was cursed, brought punishment, Mary, 
being blest, rejoices, is honoured, and is looked up to. And 
woman now is truly made through grace the Mother of the 

living, who had been by nature the mother of the dying 

Heaven feels awe of God, Angels tremble at Him, the creature 
sustains Him not, nature sufficeth not ; and yet one maiden so 
takes, receives, entertains Him, as a guest within her breast, 
that, for the very hire of her home, and as the price of her womb, 
she asks, she obtains peace for the earth, glory for the heavens, 
salvation for the lost, life for the dead, a heavenly parentage for 
the earthly, the union of God Himself with human flesh." — 
Serm. 140. 

It is difficult to express more explicitly, though 
in oratorical language, that the Blessed Virgin had 
a real meritorious co-operation, a share which had 
a " hire " and a " price," in the reversal of the fall. 

10. St. Fulgentius, Bishop of Ruspe in Africa 
(468 — 533). The Homily which contains the 
following passage, is placed by Ceillier (t. xvi. p. 
127), among his genuine works : — 

" In the wife of the first man, the wickedness of the devil 
depraved her seduced mind ; in the mother of the Second Man, 
the grace of God preserved both her mind inviolate and her 
flesh. On her mind it conferred the most firm faith ; from her 
flesh it took away lust altogether. Since then man was in a 



46 THE BLESSED VIRGIN THE SECOND EVE. 

miserable way condemned for sin, therefore without sin was in a 
marvellous way born the God man." — Sei'7n. 2, ip. 124. De 
Dupl. Nativ. 

Accordingly, in the Sermon which follows (if it 

is his), he continues, illustrating her office of 

universal Mother, as ascribed to her by St. Epi- 

phanius : — 

" Come ye virgins to a Virgin, come ye who conceive to her 
who conceived, ye who bear to one who bore, mothers to a 
mother, ye that suckle to one who suckled, young girls to the 
young girl. It is for this reason that the Virgin Mary has 
taken on her in our Lord Jesus Christ all these divisions of 
nature, that to all women who have recourse to her, she may 
be a succour, and so restore the whole race of women who come 
to her, being the new Eve, by keeping virginity, as the new 
Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, recovers the whole race of 
men." 

Such is the rudimental view, as I have called it, 
which the Fathers have given us of Mary, as the 
Second Eve, the Mother of the living : I have cited 
ten authors. I could cite more, were it necessary : 
except the two last, they write gravely and without 
any rhetoric. I allow that the two last write in a 
different style, since the extracts I have made 
are from their sermons ; but I do not see that the 
colouring conceals the outline. And after all, men 
use oratory on great subjects, not on small; — nor 
would they, and other Fathers whom I might quote, 
have lavished their high language upon the Blessed 
Virgin, such as they gave to no one else, unless 
they knew well that no one else had such claims, as 
she had, on their love and veneration. 



HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. 47 

And now, I proceed to dwell for a while upon 
two inferences, which it is obvious to draw from 
the rudimental doctrine itself; the first relates to 
the sanctity of the Blessed Virgin, the second to 
her greatness. 

1. Her sanctity. She holds, as the Fathers 
teach us, that office in our restoration which Eve 
held in our fall : — now in the first place what were 
Eve's endowments to enable her to enter upon her 
trial? She could not have stood against the wiles 
of the devil, though she was innocent and sinless, 
without the grant of a large grace. And this she 
had ; — a heavenly gift, which was over and above 
and additional to that nature of hers, which she 
received from Adam, as Adam before her had also 
received the same gift, at the very time (as it is 
commonly held) of his original creation. This is 
Anglican doctrine as well as Catholic; it is the 
doctrine of Bishop Bull. He has written a disser- 
tation on the point. He speaks of the doctrine 
which " many of the Schoolmen affirm, that Adam 
was created in grace, that is, received a principle 
of grace and divine life from his very creation, or 
in the moment of the infusion of his soul; of 
-which," he says, " for my own part I have little 
doubt." Again, he says, " It is abundantly mani- 
fest from the many testimonies alleged, that the 
ancient doctors of the Church did, with a general 
consent, acknowledge, that our first parents in the 
state of integrity, had in them something more 



48 HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. 

than nature, that is, were endowed with the divine 
principle of the Spirit, in order to a supernatural 
felicity." 

Now, taking this for granted, because I know 
that you and those who agree wdth you maintain it 
as well as we do, I ask, was not Mary as fully en- 
dowed as Eve ? is it any violent inference, that she, 
who was to co-operate in the redemption of the 
world, at least was not less endowed with power 
from on high, than she who, given as a helpmate 
to her husband, did in the event but co-operate 
with him for its ruin. If Eve was raised above 
human nature by that indwelling moral gift which 
we call grace, is it rash to say that Mary had a 
greater grace ? And this consideration gives sig- 
nificance to the Angel's salutation of her as " full 
of grace," — ran interpretation of the original word 
which is undoubtedly the right one, as soon as we 
resist the common Protestant assumption that grace 
is a mere external approbation or acceptance, an- 
swering to the word " favour," whereas it is, as the 
Fathers teach, a real inward condition or super- 
added quality of soul. And if Eve had this super- 
natural inward gift given her from the first moment 
of her personal existence, is it possible to deny that 
Mary too had this gift from the very first moment 
of her personal existence ? I do not know how to 
resist this inference : — well, this is simply and lite- 
rally the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. 
I say the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is 



HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. 49 

in Its substance this, and nothing more or less than 
this (putting aside the question of degrees of 
grace) ; and it really does seem to me bound up in 
that doctrine of the Fathers, that Mary is the 
second Eve. 

It is to me a fnost strange phenomenon that 
so many learned and devout men stumble at this 
doctrine, and I can only account for it by supposing 
that in matter of fact they do not know what we 
mean by the Immaculate Conception; and your 
Volume (may I say it?) bears out my suspicion. 
It is a great consolation to have reason for thinking 
so, — for believing that in some sort the persons in 
question are in the position of those great Saints in 
former times, who are said to have hesitated about 
it, when they would not have hesitated at all, if the 
word " Conception" had been clearly explained in 
that sense in which now it is universally received. 
I do not see how any one who holds with Bull the 
Catholic doctrine of the supernatural endowments 
of our first parents, has fair reason for doubting 
our doctrine about the Blessed Virgin. It has no 
reference whatever to her parents, but simply to 
her own person; it does but affirm that, together 
with the nature which she inherited from her 
parents, that is, her own nature, she had a super- 
added fulness of grace, and that from the first 
moment of her existence. Suppose Eve had stood 
the trial, and not lost her first grace : and suppose 
she had eventually had children, those children 

D 



50 HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. 

from the first moment of their existence would, 
through divine bounty, have received the same 
privilege that she had ever had ; that is, as she was 
taken from Adam's side, in a garment, so to say, of 
grace, so they in turn would have received what 
may be called an immaculate ' conception. They 
would have been conceived in grace, as in fact they 
are conceived in sin. What is there difficult in 
this doctrine ? What is there unnatural ? Mary 
may be called a daughter of Eve unfallen. You 
believe with us that St. John Baptist had grace 
given to him three months before his birth, at the 
time that the Blessed Virgin visited his mother. 
He accordingly was not immaculately conceived, 
because he was alive before grace came to him; but 
our Lady's case only differs from his in this respect, 
that to her grace came, not three months merely 
before her birth, but from the first moment of her 
being, as it had been given to Eve. 

But it may be said, How does this enable us to 
say that she was conceived without original sin ? 
If Anglicans knew what we mean by original sin, 
they would not ask the question. Our doctrine of 
orimnal sin is not the same as the Protestant 

o 

doctrine. " Original sin," with us, cannot be called 
sin, in the ordinary sense of the word "sin;" it is 
a term denoting Adam's sin as transferred to us, 
or the state to which Adam's sin reduces his 
children ; but by Protestants it is understood to be 
sin, in the same sense as actual sin. We, with the 



HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. 61 

Fathers, think of it as something negative, Pro- 
testants as something positive. Protestants hold 
that it is a disease, a radical change of nature, 
an active poison internally corrupting the soul, 
infecting its primary elements, and disorganizing 
it; and they fancy that we ascribe a different 
nature from ours to the Blessed Virgin, different 
from that of her parents, and from that of fallen 
Adam. We hold nothing of the kind ; we consider 
that in Adam she died, as others; that she was 
included, together with the whole race, in Adam's 
sentence ; that she incurred his debt, as we do ; 
but that, for the sake of Him who was to redeem 
her and us upon the Cross, to her the debt was 
remitted by anticipation, on her the sentence was 
not carried out, except indeed as regards her na- 
tural death, for she died when her time came, as 
others. All this we teach, but we deny that she 
had original sin ; for by original sin we mean, as I 
have already said, something negative, viz., this 
only, the deprivation of that supernatural un- 
merited grace which Adam and Eve had on their 
creation, — deprivation and the consequences of de- 
privation. INIary could not merit, any more than 
they, the restoration of that grace ; but it was 
restored to her by God's free bounty, from the 
very first moment of her existence, and thereby, 
in fact, she never came under the original curse, 
which consisted in the loss of it. And she had 
this special privilege, in order to tit her to become 

D 2 



62 HER IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. 

the Mother of her and our Redeemer, to fit her 
mentally, spiritually for it; so that, by the aid of 
the first grace, she might so grow in grace, that 
when the Angel came, and her Lord was at hand, 
she might be " full of grace," prepared, as far as 
a creature could be prepared, to receive Him into 
her bosom. 

I have drawn the doctrine of the Immaculate 
Conception, as an immediate inference, from the 
primitive doctrine that Mary is the second Eve. 
The argument seems to me conclusive; and, if it 
has not been universally taken as such, this has 
come to pass, because there has not been a clear 
understanding among Catholics, what exactly was 
meant by the Immaculate Conception. To many it 
seemed to imply that the Blessed Virgin did not die 
in Adam, that she did not come under the penalty 
of the fall, that she was not redeemed, that she was 
conceived in some way inconsistent with the verse 
in the Miserere Psalm. If controversy had in earlier 
days so cleared the subject as to make it plain to 
all, that the doctrine meant nothing else than that 
in fact in her case the general sentence on man- 
kind was not carried out, and that, by means of the 
indwelling in her of divine grace from the first 
moment of her being (and this is all the decree of 
1854 has declared^, I cannot believe that the doc- 
trine would have ever been opposed ; for an instinc- 
tive sentiment has led Christians jealously to put the 
Blessed Mary aside when sin comes into discussion. 



HER EXALTATION. 53 

This is expressed in the well-known words of St. 
Augustine, All have sinned " except the Holy 
Virgin Mary, concerning whom, for the honour of 
the Lord, I wish no question to be raised at all, 
when we are treating of sins" {de Nat. et Grat. 42) ; 
words which, whatever St. Augustine's actual occa- 
sion of using them, (to which you refer, p. 176,) 
certainly in the spirit which they breathe, are well 
adapted to convey the notion, that, apart from her 
relation to her parents, she had not personally any 
part in sin whatever. It is true that several great 
Fathers of the fourth century do imply or assert 
that on one or two occasions she did sin venially 
or showed infirmity. This is the only real ob- 
jection which I know of; and as I do not wish to 
pass it over lightly, I propose to consider it at the 
end of this Letter. 

2. Now secondly, her greatness. Here let us 
suppose that our first parents had overcome in their 
trial ; and had gained for their descendants for ever 
the full possession, as if by right, of the privileges 
which were promised to their obedience, — grace 
here and glory hereafter. Is it possible that those 
descendants, pious and happy from age to age in 
their temporal homes, would have forgotten their 
benefactors ? Would they not have followed them 
in thought into the heavens, and gratefully com- 
memorated them on earth ? The history of the 
temptation, the craft of the serpent, their sted- 



54 HER EXALTATION. 

fastness in obedience, — the loyal vigilance, the sen- 
sitive purity of Eve, — the great issue, salvation 
wrought out for all generations, — would have been 
never from their minds, ever welcome to their ears. 
This would have taken place from the necessity of 
our nature. Every nation has its mythical hymns 
and epics about its first fathers and its heroes. 
The great deeds of Charlemagne, Alfred, Coeur de 
Lion, Wallace, Louis the ninth, do not die; and 
though their persons are gone from us, we make 
much of their names. Milton's Adam, after his 
fall, understands the force of this law, and shrinks 
from the prospect of its operation. 

" "Who of all ages to succeed, but, feeling 
The evil on him brought by me, will curse 
My head ? Ill fare our ancestor impure, 
For this we may thank Adam." 

If this anticipation has not been fulfilled in the 
event, it is owing to the needs of our penal life, 
our state of perpetual change, and the ignorance 
and unbelief incurred by the fall; also because, 
fallen as we are, from the hopefulness of our nature, 
we feel more pride in our national great men, than 
dejection at our national misfortunes. Much more 
then in the great kingdom and people of God ; — 
the Saints are ever in our sight, and not as mere 
ineffectual ghosts, but as if present bodily in their 
past selves. It is said of them, " Their works do 
follow them ;" what they were here, such are they 
in heaven and in the Church. As we call them 



HER EXALTATION. 55 

by their earthly names, so we contemplate them in 
their earthly characters and histories. Their acts, 
callings, and relations below, are types and antici- 
pations of their mission above. Even in the case 
of om* Lord Himself, whose native home is the 
eternal heavens, it is said of Him in His state of 
glory, that He is " a Priest for ever;" and when He 
comes again. He will be recognized by those who 
pierced Him, as being the very same that He was on 
earth. The only question is, whether the Blessed 
Virgin had a part, a real part, in the economy of 
grace, whether, when she was on earth, she secured 
by her deeds any claim on our memories; for, if 
she did, it is impossible we should put her away 
from us, merely because she is gone hence, and not 
look at her still, according to the measure of her 
earthly history, with gratitude and expectation. 
If, as St. Irenseus says, she did the part of an 
Advocate, a friend in need, even in her mortal 
life, if, as St. Jerome and St. Ambrose say, she 
was on earth the great pattern of Virgins, if she 
had a meritorious share in bringins: about our 
redemption, if her maternity was earned by her 
faith and obedience, if her Divine Son was subject 
to her, and if she stood by the Cross with a mo- 
ther's heart and drank in to the full those sufferings 
which it was her portion to gaze upon, it is im- 
possible that we should not associate these cha- 
racteristics of her life on earth with her present 
state of blessedness ; and this surely she antici- 



5G HER EXALTATION. 

pated, when she said in her hymn that " all gene- 
rations should call her blessed." 

I am aware that, in thus speaking, I am following 
a line of thought which is rather a meditation than 
an argument in controversy, and I shall not carry 
it further; but still, in turning to other topics, it is 
to the point to inquire, whether the popular astonish- 
ment, excited by our belief in the Blessed Virgin's 
present dignity, does not arise from the circum- 
stance that the bulk of men, enofaffed in matters of 
the world, have never calmly considered her his- 
torical position in the gospels, so as rightly to rea- 
lize (if I may use the word a second time) what 
that position imports. I do not claim for the 
generality of Catholics any greater powers of re- 
flection upon the objects of their faith, than Pro- 
testants commonly have, but there is a sufficient 
number of religious men among Catholics who, 
instead of expending their devotional energies (as 
so many serious Protestants do) on abstract doc- 
trines, such as justification by faith only, or the 
sufficiency of Holy Scripture, employ themselves in 
the contemplation of Scripture facts, and bring out 
in a tangible form the doctrines involved in them, 
and give such a substance and colour to the sacred 
history, as to influence their brethren ; who, though 
superficial themselves, are drawn by their Catholic 
instinct to accept conclusions which they could not 
indeed themselves have elicited, but which, when 
elicited, they feel to be true. However, it w^ould 



HER EXALTATION IN SCRIPTURE. 57 

be out of place to pursue this course of reasoning 
here; and instead of doing so, I shall take what 
perhaps you may think a very bold step, — I shall 
find the doctrine of our Lady's present exaltation 
in Scripture. 

I mean to find it in the vision of the Woman and 
Child in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse ^ : — 
now here two objections will be made to me at 
once ; first that such an interpretation is but poorly 
supported by the Fathers, and secondly that in 
ascribing such a picture of the Madonna (as it 
may be called) to the Apostolic age, I am com- 
mitting an anachronism. 

As to the former of these objections, I answer as 
follows : — Christians have never gone to Scripture 
for proofs of their doctrines, till there was actual 
need, from the pressure of controversy; — if in 
those times the Blessed Virgin's dignity were un- 
challenged on all hands, as a matter of doctrine. 
Scripture, as far as its argumentative matter was 
concerned, was likely to remain a sealed book to 
them. Thus, to take an instance in point; the 
Catholic party in the English Church, (say, the Non- 
jurors,) unable by their theory of religion simply 
to take their stand on Tradition, and distressed for 
proof of their doctrines, had their eyes sharpened 
to scrutinize and to understand the letter of Holy 

* Yid. Essay on Doctr. Development, p. 384, and Bishop 
TJllathorne's work on the Immaculate Conceptiou, p. 77. 



58 HER EXALTATION IN SCRirTURE. 

Scripture, which to others hrought no instruction. 
And the peculiarity of their interpretations is this, 
— that they have in themselves great logical co- 
gency, yet are but faintly supported by patristical 
commentators. Such is the use of the word iroieiv 
or facer e in our Lord's institution of the Holy 
Eucharist, which, by a reference to the old Testa- 
ment, is found to be a word of sacrifice. Such 
again is Xevrovpyovvjoiv in the passage in the Acts, 
" As they ministered to the Lord and fasted," which 
again is a sacerdotal term. And such the passage 
in Rom. xv. IG, in which several terms are used 
which have an allusion to the sacrificial Eucharistic 
rite. Such too is St. Paul's repeated message to 
the household of Onesiphorus, with no mention of 
Onesiphorus himself, but in one place with the 
addition of a prayer that " he might find mercy of 
the Lord" in the day of judgment, which, taking 
into account its wording and the known usage of 
the first centuries, we can hardly deny is a prayer 
for his soul. Other texts there are, which ought to 
find a place in ancient controversies, and the omis- 
sion of which by the Fathers affords matter for 
more surprise; those, for instance, which, according 
to Middleton's rule, are real proofs of our Lord's 
divinity, and yet are passed over by Catholic dispu- 
tants; for these bear upon a then existing contro- 
versy of the first moment, and of the most urgent 
exigency. . 

As to the second objection which I have sup- 



HER EXALTATION IN SCRIPTURE. 59 

posed, so far from allowing it, I consider that it is 
built upon a mere imaginary fact, and that the 
truth of the matter lies in the very contrary direc- 
tion. The Virgin and Child is not a mere modern 
idea ; on the contrary, it is represented again and 
again, as every visitor to Rome is aware, in the 
paintings of the Catacombs. Mary is there drawn 
with the Divine Infant in her lap, she with hands 
extended in prayer, He with His hand in the attitude 
of blessing. No representation can more forcibly 
convey the doctrine of the high dignity of the Mo- 
ther, and, I will add, of her power over her Son. 
Why should the memory of His time of subjection 
be so dear to Christians, and so carefully preserved ? 
The only question to be determined, is the precise 
date of these remarkable monuments of the first 
age of Christianity. That they belong to the 
centuries of what Anglicans call the " undivided 
Church " is certain ; but lately investigations have 
been pursued, which place some of them at an 
earlier date than any one anticipated as possible. 
I am not in a position to quote largely from the 
works of the Cavaliere de Rossi, who has thrown so 
much light upon the subject ; but I have his 
"Imagini Scelte," published in 1863, and they 
are sufficient for my purpose. In this work he has 
given us from the Catacombs various representa- 
tions of the Virgin and Child; the latest of these 
belong to the early part of the fourth century, but 
the earliest he believes to be referable to the very 



60 HER EXALTATION IN SCRIPTURE. 

age of the Apostles. He comes to this conclusion 
from the style and the skill of the composition, 
and from the history, locality, and existing inscrip- 
tions of the subterranean in which it is found. 
However he does not go so far as to insist upon so 
early a date ; yet the utmost liberty he grants is to 
refer the painting to the era of the first Antonines, 
that is, to a date within half a century of the death 
of St. John. I consider then, that, as you fairly 
use, in controversy with Protestants, the traditional 
doctrine of the Church in early times, as an expla- 
nation of the Scripture text, or at least as a sug- 
gestion, or as a defence, of the sense which you may 
wish to put on it, quite apart from the question 
whether your interpretation itself is traditional, so it 
is lawful for me, though I have not the positive words 
of the Fathers on my side, to shelter my own inter- 
pretation of the Apostle's vision under the fact of the 
extant pictures of Mother and Child in the Roman 
Catacombs. There is another principle of Scripture 
interpretation which we should hold with you, — when 
we speak of a doctrine being contained in Scripture, 
we do not necessarily mean, that it is contained 
there in direct categorical terms, but that there is 
no other satisfactory way of accounting for the lan- 
guage and expressions of the sacred writers, con- 
cerning the subject-matter in question, than to 
suppose that they held upon it the opinions which 
we hold, — that they would not have spoken as they 
have spoken, unless they held it. For myself I 



HER EXALTATION IN SCRIPTURE. 61 

have ever felt the truth of this principle, as regards 
the Scripture proof of the Holy Trinity ; I should 
not have found out that doctrine in the sacred text 
without previous traditional teaching ; but when 
once it is suggested from without, it commends 
itself as the one true interpretation, from its appo- 
siteness, — because no other view of doctrine, which 
can be ascribed to the inspired writers, so happily 
solves the obscurities and seeming inconsistencies 
of their teaching. And now to apply what I have 
said to the passage in the Apocalypse. 

If there is an Apostle on whom, a priori^ our 
eyes would be fixed, as likely to teach us about the 
Blessed Virgin, it is St. John, to whom she was 
committed by our Lord on the Cross, — with whom, 
as tradition goes, she lived at Ephesus till she was 
taken away. This anticipation is confirmed a 
posteriori; for, as I have said above, one of the 
earliest and fullest of our informants concerning 
her dignity, as being the second Eve, is Irenaeus, 
who came to Lyons from Asia Minor, and had 
been taught by the immediate disciples of St. 
John. The Apostle's vision is as follows : — 

" A great sign appeared in heaven : A woman 
clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her 
feet ; and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 
And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, 
and was in pain to be delivered. And there was 
seen another sign in heaven ; and behold a great 
red dragon * . . And the dragon stood before the 



62 HER EXALTATION IN SCRIPTURE. 

woman who was ready to be delivered, that, when 
she should be delivered, he might devour her son. 
And she brought forth a man child, who was to 
rule all nations with an iron rod ; and her son was 
taken up to God and to His throne. And the 
woman fled into the wilderness." Now I do not 
deny of course, that, under the image of the Woman, 
the Church is signified ; but what I would maintain 
is this, that the Holy Apostle would not have 
spoken of the Church under this particular image, 
unless there had existed a Blessed Virgin Mary, 
who was exalted on high, and the object of vene- 
ration to all the faithfuL 

No one doubts that the " man-child " spoken 
of is an allusion to our Lord: why then is not 
" the Woman " an allusion to His Mother ? This 
surely is the obvious sense of the words ; of course it 
has a further sense also, which is the scope of the 
image; doubtless th6 Child represents the children 
of the Church, and doubtless the Woman repre- 
sents the Church; this, I grant, is the real or direct 
sense, but what is the sense of the symbol ? who 
are the Woman and the Child ? I answer. They 
are not personifications but Persons. This is true 
of the Child, therefore it is true of the Woman. 

But again : not only Mother and Child, but a 
serpent is introduced into the vision. Such a 
meeting of man, woman, and serpent has not been 
found in Scripture, since the beginning of Scrip- 
ture, and now it is found in its end. Moreover, in 



HEE EXALTATION IN SCRIPTUEE. 63 

the passage in the Apocalypse, as if to supply, 
before Scripture came to an end, what was wanting 
in its beginning, we are told, and for the first time, 
that the serpent in Paradise was the evil spirit. If 
the dragon of St. John is the same as the serpent 
of Moses, and the man-child is " the seed of the 
woman," why is not the woman herself she, whose 
seed the man-child is ? And, if the first woman is 
not an allegory, why is the second? if the first 
woman is Eve, why is not the second Mary ? 

But this is not all. The image of the woman, 
according to Scripture usage, is too bold and pro- 
minent for a mere personification. Scripture is not 
fond of allegories. We have indeed frequent figures 
there, as when the sacred writers speak of the arm 
or sword of the Lord : and so too when they speak 
of Jerusalem or Samaria in the feminine ; or of the 
mountains leaping for joy, or of the Church as a 
bride or as a vine ; but they are not much given to 
dressing up abstract ideas or generalizations in 
personal attributes. This is the classical rather 
than the Scripture style. Xenophon places Her- 
cules between Virtue and Vice, represented as 
women ; ^schylus introduces into his drama Force 
and Violence ; Virgil gives personality to public 
rumour or Fame, and Plautus to Poverty. So on 
monuments done in the classical style, we see vir- 
tues, vices, rivers, renown, death and the like, 
turned into human figures of men and women. I 
do not say there are no instances at all of this 



64 HER EXALTATION IN SCRIPTURE. 

method in Scripture, but I say that such poetical 
compositions are strikingly unlike its usual method. 
Thus we at once feel the difference from Scripture, 
when we betake ourselves to the Pastor of Hermes, 
and find the Church a woman, to St. Methodius, 
and find Virtue a woman, and to St. Gregory's 
poem, and find Virginity again a woman. Scrip- 
ture deals with types rather than personifications. 
Israel stands for the chosen people, David for 
Christ, Jerusalem for heaven. Consider the re- 
markable representations, dramatic I may call 
them, in Jeremiah, Ezechiel, and Hosea: predic- 
tions, threatenings, and promises, are acted out by 
those Prophets. Ezechiel is commanded to shave 
his head, and to divide and scatter his hair; and 
Ahias tears his garment, and gives ten out of 
twelve parts of it to Jeroboam. So too the struc- 
ture of the imagery in the Apocalypse is not a mere 
allegorical creation, but is founded on the Jewish 
ritual. In like manner our Lord's bodily cures are 
visible types of the power of His grace upon the 
soul ; and His prophecy of the last day is conveyed 
under that of the fall of Jerusalem. Even His 
parables are not simply ideal, but relations of oc- 
currences, which did or might take place, under 
which was conveyed a spiritual meaning. The 
description of Wisdom in the Proverbs, and other 
sacred books, has brought out the instinct of com- 
mentators in this respect. They felt that Wisdom 
could not be a mere personification, and they 



HER EXALTATION IN SCRIPTURE. 65 

determined that it was our Lord; and the later 
of these books, by their own more definite lan- 
guage, warranted that interpretation. Then, when 
it was found that the Arians used it in derogation 
of our Lord's divinity, still, unable to tolerate the 
notion of a mere allegory, commentators applied 
the description to the Blessed Virgin. Coming 
back then to the Apocalyptic vision, I ask. If the 
Woman must be some real person, who can it be 
whom the Apostle saw, and intends, and delineates, 
but that same Great Mother to whom the chapters 
in the Proverbs are accommodated ? And let it be 
observed, moreover, that in this passage, from the 
allusion in it to the history of the fall, she may be 
said still to be represented under the character of 
the Second Eve. I make a further remark : it is 
sometimes asked. Why do not the sacred writers 
mention our Lady's greatness ? I answer, she was, 
or may have been alive, when the Apostles and 
Evangelists wrote; — there was just one book of 
Scripture certainly written after her death, and that 
book does (so to say) canonize and crown her. 

But if all this be so, if it is really the Blessed 
Virgin whom Scripture represents as clothed with 
the sun, crowned with the stars of heaven, and 
with the moon as her footstool, what height of 
glory may we not attribute to her ? and what are 
we to say of those who, through ignorance, run 
counter to the voice of Scripture, to the testimony 
of the Fathers, to the traditions of East and West, 

E 



66 THE BLESSED VIRGIN THE THEOTOCOS. 

and speak and act contemptuously towards her 
whom her Lord delighteth to honour ? 

Now I have said all I mean to say on what I 
have called the rudimental teaching of Antiquity 
about the Blessed Virgin ; but after all I have not 
insisted on the highest view of her prerogatives, 
which the Fathers have taught us. You, my dear 
Friend, who know so well the ancient controversies 
and Councils, may have been surprised why I should 
not have yet spoken of her as the Theotocos ; — but 
I wished to show on how broad a basis her great- 
ness rests, independent of that wonderful title ; and 
again I have been loth to enlarge upon the force 
of a word, which is rather matter for devotional 
thought than for polemical dispute. However, I 
might as well not write on my subject at all, as 
altogether be silent upon it. 

It is then an integral portion of the Faith fixed 
by Ecumenical Council, a portion of it which you 
hold as well as I, that the Blessed Virgin is Theo- 
tocos, Deipara, or Mother of God; and this word, 
when thus used, carries with it no admixture of 
rhetoric, no taint of extravagant affection, — it has 
nothing else but a well-weighed, grave, dogmatic 
sense, which corresponds and is adequate to its 
sound. It intends to express that God is her Son, 
as truly as any one of us is the son of his own 
mother. If this be so, what can be said of any 
creature whatever, which may not be said of her ? 



THE BLESSED VIRGIN THE THEOTOCOS. 67 

what can be said too much, so that it does not 
compromise the attributes of the Creator ? He 
indeed might have created a being more perfect, 
more admirable, than she is; He might have en- 
dued that being, so created, with a richer grant of 
grace, of power, of blessedness : but in one respect 
she surpasses all even possible creations, viz. that 
she is Mother of her Creator. It is this awful title, 
which both illustrates and connects together the 
two prerogatives of Mary, on which I have been 
lately enlarging, her sanctity and her greatness. It 
is the issue of her sanctity ; it is the source of her 
greatness. What dignity can be too great to attri- 
bute to her who is as closely bound up, as inti- 
mately one, with the Eternal Word, as a mother is 
with a son ? What outfit of sanctity, what fulness 
and redundance of grace, what exuberance of merits 
must have been hers, on the supposition, which the 
Fathers justify, that her Maker regarded them at all, 
and took them into account, when he condescended 
" not to abhor the Virgin's womb ? " Is it sur- 
prising then that on the one hand she should be 
immaculate in her conception? or on the other 
that she should be exalted as a queen with a crown 
of twelve stars ? Men sometimes wonder that we 
call her Mother of life, of mercy, of salvation ; what 
are all these titles compared to that one name. 
Mother of God ? 

I shall say no more about this title here. It is 
scarcely possible to write of it without diverging 

E 2 



68 THE BLESSED VIRGIN THE THEOTOCOS. 

into a style of composition unsuited to a Letter ; so 
I proceed to the history of its use. 

The title of Theotocos ^ begins with ecclesiastical 
writers of a date hardly later than that at which 
we read of her as the second Eve. It first occurs in 
the works of Origen (185 — 254) ; but he, witnessing 
for Egypt and Palestine, witnesses also that it was 
in use before his time ; for, as Socrates informs us, 
he "interpreted how it was to be used, and dis- 
cussed the question at length" {Hist. vii. 32). 
Within two centuries (431) in the General Council 
held against Nestorius, it was made part of the for- 
mal dogmatic teaching of the Church. At that 
time, Theodoret, who from his party connexions 
might have been supposed disinclined to its solemn 
recognition, owned that "the ancient and more 
than ancient heralds of the orthodox faith taught 
the use of the term according to the Apostolic tra- 
dition." At the same date John of Antioch, who 
for a while sheltered Nestorius, whose heresy lay 
in the rejection of the term, said, " This title no 
ecclesiastical teacher has put aside. Those who 
have used it are many and eminent; and those who 
have not used it, have not attacked those who did." 
Alexander again, one of the fiercest partisans of 
Nestorius, witnesses to the use of the word, though 
he considers it dangerous ; " That in festive solemni- 
ties," he says, " or in preaching or teaching, theo- 

* Vid. Translation of St. Athanasius, pp. 420, 440, 447 



THE BLESSED VIRGIN THE THEOTOCOS. 69 

tocos should be unguardedly said by the orthodox 
without explanation is no blame, because such state- 
ments were not dogmatic, nor said with evil mean- 
ing." If we look for those, in the interval, between 
Origen and the Council, to whom Alexander refers, 
we find it used again and again by the Fathers in 
such of their works as are extant ; by Archelaus of 
Mesopotamia, Eusebius of Palestine, Alexander of 
Egypt, in the third century; in the fourth by 
Athanasius many times with emphasis, by Cyril of 
Palestine, Gregory Nyssen of Cappadocia, Gregory 
Nazianzen of Cappadocia, Antiochus of Syria, and 
Ammonius of Thrace: — not to speak of the Em- 
peror Julian, who, having no local or ecclesiastical 
domicile, speaks for the whole of Christendom. 
Another and earlier Emperor, Constantine, in his 
speech before the assembled Bishops at Nicsea, uses 
the still more explicit title of " the Virgin Mother 
of God ;" which is also used by Ambrose of Milan, 
and by Vincent and Cassian in the south of France, 
and then by St. Leo. 

So much for the term ; it would be tedious to pro- 
duce the passages of authors who, using or not using 
the term, convev the idea. " Our God was carried 
in the womb of Mary," says Ignatius, who was mar- 
tyred A.D. 106. "The word of God," says Hippo- 
lytus, " was carried in that Virgin frame." " The 
Maker of all," says Amphilochius, " is born of a 
Virgin." " She did compass without circumscribing 
the Sun of justice, — the Everlasting is born," says 



70 ZEAL OF THE FATHERS 

Chrysostom. " God dwelt in the womb," says Pro- 
clus. " When thou hearest that God speaks from 
the bush," asks Theodotus, " in the bush seest 
thou not the Virgin ?" Cassian says, " Mary bore 
her Author." " The one God only-begotten," says 
Hilary, " is introduced into the womb of a Virgin.'' 
" The Everlasting," says Ambrose, " came into the 
Virgin." " The closed gate," says Jerome, " by 
which alone the Lord God of Israel enters, is the 
Virgin Mary." " That man from heaven," says 
Capriolus, " is God conceived in the womb." " He 
is made in thee," says Augustine, "who made 
thee." 

This being the faith of the Fathers about the 
Blessed Virgin, we need not wonder that it should 
in no long time be transmuted into devotion. No 
wonder if their language should become unmeasured, 
when so great a term as " Mother of God " had 
been formally set down as the safe limit of it. No 
wonder if it should be stronger and stronger as time 
went on, since only in a long period could the ful- 
ness of its import be exhausted. And in matter of 
fact, and as might be anticipated, (with the few ex- 
ceptions which I have noted above, and which I am 
to treat of below,) the current of thought in those 
early ages did uniformly tend to make much of the 
Blessed Virgin and to increase her honours, not to 
circumscribe them. Little jealousy was shown of 
her in those times j but, when any such niggardness 



FOR THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 71 

of devotion occurred, then one Father or other fell 
upon the offender, with zeal, not to say with fierce- 
ness. Thus St. Jerome inveighs against Helvidius ; 
thus St. Epiphanius denounces Apollinaris, St. 
Cyril Nestorius, and St. Ambrose Bonosus ; on the 
other hand, each successive insult offered to her by 
individual adversaries did but bring out more fully 
the intimate sacred affection with which Christen- 
dom regarded her. " She was alone, and wrought 
the world's salvation and conceived the redemption 
of all," says Ambrose''; "she had so great grace, 
as not only to preserve virginity herself, but lo 
confer it upon those whom she visited." The 
rod out of the stem of Jesse," says Jerome, " and 
the Eastern gate through which the High Priest 
alone goes in and out, yet is ever shut." " The 
wise woman," says Nilus, who " hath clad believers, 
from the fleece of the Lamb born of her, with the 
clothing of incorruption, and delivered them from 
their spiritual nakedness." "The mother of life, 
of beauty, of majesty, the morning star," according 
to Antiochus. " The mystical new heavens," " the 
heavens carrying the Divinity," " the fruitful vine," 
"by whom we are translated from death to life," 
according to St. Ephrem. " The manna, which is 
delicate, bright, sweet, and virgin, which, as though 
coming from heaven, has poured down on all the 
people of the Churches a food pleasanter than 
honey," according to St. Maximus. 

^ Essay on Doctr, Dev. p. 408. 



72- HER INTERCESSORY POWER. 

Basil of Seleucia says, that " she shines out above 
all the martyrs as the sun above the stars, and 
that she mediates between God and men." " Run 
through all creation in your thought," says Proclus, 
" and see if there be one equal or superior to the 
Holy Virgin, Mother of God." " Hail, Mother, clad 
in light, of the light which sets not ;" says Theodotus, 
or some one else at Ephesus, "hail, all-undefiled 
mother of holiness ; hail, most pellucid fountain of 
the life-giving stream." And St. Cyril too at 
Ephesus, "Hail, Mary Mother of God, majestic 
common-treasure of the whole world, the lamp un- 
quenchable, the crown of virginity, the sceptre of 
orthodoxy, the indissoluble temple, the dwelling of 
the Illimitable, Mother and Virgin, through whom 
He in the holy gospels is called blessed who cometh 
in the name of the Lord, .... through whom the 

Holy Trinity is sanctified, through whom 

Angels and Archangels rejoice, devils are put to 
flight, .... and the fallen creature is received up 
into the heavens, &c., &c.^" Such is but a portion 
of the panegyrical language which St. Cyril used 
in the third Ecumenical Council. 

I must not close my review of the Catholic doc- 
trine concerning the Blessed Virgin, without di- 
rectly speaking of her intercessory power, though I 
have incidentally made mention of it already. It 

' 0pp. t. 6, p. 355. 



HER INTERCESSORY POWER. 73 

is the immediate result of two truths, neither of 
which you dispute; — first, that "it is good and 
useful," as the Council of Trent says, " suppliantly 
to invoke the saints and to have recourse to their 
prayers;" and secondly, that the Blessed Mary is 
singularly dear to her Son and singularly exalted 
in sanctity and glory. However, at the risk of 
becoming didactic, I will state somewhat more fully 
the grounds on which it rests. 

To a candid pagan, it must have been one of the 
most remarkable points of Christianity, on its first 
appearance, that the observance of prayer formed 
so vital a part of its organization ; and that, though 
its members were scattered all over the world, and 
its rulers and subjects had so little opportunity of 
correlative action, yet they, one and all, found the 
solace of a spiritual intercourse and a real bond of 
union, in the practice of mutual intercession. Prayer 
indeed is the very essence of religion ; but in the 
heathen religions it was either public or personal; 
it was a state ordinance, or a selfish expedient, for 
the attainment of certain tangible, temporal goods. 
Very different from this was its exercise among 
Christians, who were thereby knit together in one 
body, different, as they were, in races, ranks, and 
habits, distant from each other in country, and 
helpless amid hostile populations. Yet it proved 
sufficient for its purpose. Christians could not 
correspond; they could not combine; but they 
could pray one for another. Even their public 



74 HER INTERCESSORY TOWER. 

prayers partook of this character of intercession; 
for to pray for the welfare of the whole Church was 
in fact a prayer for all the classes of men, and all 
the individuals of which it was composed. It was in 
prayer that the Church was founded. For ten 
days all the Apostles "persevered with one mind 
in prayer and supplication, with the women, and 
Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with His brethren." 
Then again at Pentecost " they were all with one 
mind in one place;" and the converts then made 
are said to have "persevered in prayer." And 
when, after a while, St. Peter was seized and put 
in prison with a view to his being put to death, 
"prayer was made without ceasing" by the Church 
of God for him ; and, when the angel released him, 
he took refuge in a house " where many were 
gathered together in prayer." 

We are so accustomed to these passages, as 
hardly to be able to do justice to their singular 
significance; and they are followed up by various 
passages of the Apostolic Epistles. St. Paul en- 
joins his brethren to " pray with all prayer and sup- 
plication at all times in the Spirit, with all instance 
and supplication for all saints," to " pray in every 
place," " to make supplication, prayers, intercessions, 
giving of thanks, for all men." And in his own person 
he " ceases not to give thanks for them, commemo- 
rating them in his prayers," and " always in all his 
prayers making supplication for them all with joy." 

Now, was this spiritual bond to cease with life ? 



HER INTERCESSORY POWER. 75 

or had Christians similar duties to their bre- 
thren departed ? From the witness of the early 
ages of the Church, it appears that they had; 
and you, and those who agree with you, would 
be the last to deny that they were then in the 
practice of praying, as for the living, so for those 
also who had passed into the intermediate state 
between earth and heaven. Did the sacred com- 
munion extend further still, on to the inhabit- 
ants of heaven itself ? Here too you agree with 
us, for you have adopted in your Volume the words 
of the Council of Trent, which I have quoted above. 
But now we are brought to a higher order of 
thought. 

It would be preposterous to pray for those who 
are already in glory ; but at least they can pray for 
us, and we can ask their prayers, and in the Apo- 
calypse at least Angels are introduced both sending 
us their blessing and presenting our prayers before 
the Divine Presence. We read there of an Angel 
who ''came and stood before the altar, having a 
golden censer ;" and " there was given to him 
much incense, that he should offer of the prayers 
of all saints upon the golden altar which is before 
the Throne of God." On this occasion, surely the 
Angel (Michael, as the prayer in Mass considers 
him), performed the part of a great Intercessor or 
Mediator above for the children of the Church 
Militant below. Again, in the beginning of the 
same book, the sacred writer goes so far as to 



76 HER INTERCESSORY POWER. 

speak of " grace and peace " coming to us, not only 
from the Almighty, but " from the seven Spirits 
that are before His throne," thus associating the 
Eternal with the ministers of His mercies ; and this 
carries us on to the remarkable passage of St. Justin, 
one of the earliest Fathers, who, in his Apology, 
says, "To Him (God), and His Son who came 
from Him and taught us these things, and the host 
of the other good Angels who follow and resemble 
Him, and the Prophetic Spirit, we pay veneration 
and homage." Further, in the Epistle to the 
Hebrews, St. Paul introduces, not only Angels, but 
" the spirits of the just " into the sacred communion : 
"Ye have come to Mount Sion, to the heavenly 
Jerusalem, to myriads of angels, to God the Judge 
of all, to the spirits of the just made perfect, and 
to Jesus the Mediator of the New Testament." 
What can be meant by having " come to the spirits 
of the just," unless in some way or other they do us 
good, whether by blessing or by aiding us ? that is, 
in a word, to speak correctly, by praying for us, for 
it is by prayer alone that the creature above can 
bless or aid the creature below. 

Intercession thus being a first principle of the 
Church's life, next it is certain again, that the 
vital principle of that intercession, as an availing 
power, is, according to the will of God, sanctity. 
This seems to be suggested by a passage of St. 
Paul, in which the Supreme Intercessor is said to 
be " the Spirit :" — " the Spirit Himself maketh 



HER INTERCESSOEY POWER. 77 

intercession for us; He raaketh intercession for 
the saints according to God." However, the truth 
thus implied, is expressly brought out in other 
parts of Scripture, in the form both of doctrine 
and of example. The words of the man born blind 
speak the common-sense of nature : — " if any man 
be a worshipper of God, him He heareth." And 
Apostles confirm them: — "the prayer of a just 
man availeth much," and " whatever we ask, we 
receive, because we keep his commandments." 
Then, as for examples, we read of Abraham and 
Moses, as having the divine purpose of judgment 
revealed to them beforehand, in order that they 
might deprecate its execution. To the friends of 
Job it was said, "My servant Job shall pray for 
you; his face I will accept." Elias by his prayer 
shut and opened the heavens. Elsewhere we read 
of "Jeremias, Moses, and Samuel;" and of " Noe, 
Daniel, and Job," as being great mediators between 
God and His people. One instance is given us, 
which testifies the continuance of so high an office 
beyond this life. Lazarus, in the parable, is seen 
in Abraham's bosom. It is usual to pass over this 
striking passage with the remark that it is a 
Jewish expression ; whereas, Jewish belief or not, 
it is recognized and sanctioned by our Lord Him- 
self. What do we teach about the Blessed Virgin 
more wonderful than this ? Let us suppose, that, 
at the hour of death, the faithful are committed 
to her arms ; but if Abraham, not yet ascended on 



78 HER INTERCESSORY POWER. 

high, had charge of Lazarus, what oifence is it to 
affirm the like of her, who was not merely "the 
friend," but the very " Mother of God ? " 

It may be added, that, though it availed nothing 
for influence with our Lord, to be one of His com- 
pany, if sanctity was wanting, still, as the Gospel 
shows. He on various occasions allowed those who 
were near Him, to be the means by which suppli- 
cants were brought to Him or miracles gained 
from Him, as in the instance of the miracle of the 
loaves ; and if on one occasion. He seems to repel 
His Mother, when she told Him that wine was 
wanting for the guests at the marriage feast, it is 
obvious to remark on it, that, by saying that she 
was then separated from Him, because His hour 
was not yet come. He implied, that when that hour 
was come, such separation would be at an end. 
Moreover, in fact He did, at her intercession, work 
the miracle which she desired. 

I consider it impossible then, for those who 
believe the Church to be one vast body in heaven 
and on earth, in which every holy creature of God 
has his place, and of which prayer is the life, when 
once they recognize the sanctity and greatness of 
the Blessed Virgin, not to perceive immediately, 
that her office above is one of perpetual inter- 
cession for the faithful militant, and that our very 
relation to her must be that of clients to a patron, 
and that, in the eternal enmity which exists be- 
tween the woman and the serpent, while the 



HER INTERCESSORY POWER. 79 

serpent's strength is that of being the Tempter, 
the weapon of the Second Eve and Mother of God 
is prayer. 

As then these ideas of her sanctity and greatness 
gradually penetrated the mind of Christendom, so did 
that of her intercessory power follow close upon them 
and with them. From the earliest times that media- 
tion is symbolized in those representations of her 
with up-lifted hands, which, whether in plaster or 
in glass, are still extant in Rome, — that Church, 
as St. Irenseus says, with which "every Church, 
that is, the faithful from every side, must agree, 
because of its more powerful principality;" "into 
which," as Tertullian adds, "the Apostles poured 
out, together with their blood, their whole doc- 
trines." As far indeed as existing documents are 
concerned, I know of no instance to my purpose 
earlier than a.d. 234, but it is a very remarkable 
one; and, though it has been often quoted in the 
controversy, an argument is not the weaker for 
frequent use. 

St. Gregory Nyssen^ then, a native of Cappadocia 
in the fourth century, relates that his name-sake. 
Bishop of Neo-Caisarea, surnamed Thaumaturgus, 
in the century preceding, shortly before he was 
called to the priesthood, received in a vision a Creed, 
which is still extant, from the Blessed Mary at the 
hands of St. John. The account runs thus : — He 
was deeply pondering theological doctrine, which 
» Vid. Essay on Doctr. Dev. p. 380. 



80 HER INTERCESSORY POWER. 

the heretics of the day depraved. "In such 
thoughts," says his name-sake of Nyssa, " he was 
passing the night, when one appeared, as if in 
human form, aged in appearance, saintly in the 
fashion of his garments, and very venerable both in 
grace of countenance and general mien. Amazed at 
the sight, he started from his bed, and asked who 
it was, and why he came ; but, on the other calm- 
ing the perturbation of his mind with his gentle 
voice, and saying he had appeared to him by 
divine command on account of his doubts, in order 
that the truth of the orthodox faith miffht be 
revealed to him, he took courage at the word, and 
regarded him with a mixture of joy and fright. 
Then, on his stretching his hand straight forward 
and pointing with his fingers at something on one 
side, he followed with his eyes the extended hand, 
and saw another appearance opposite to the former, 
in shape of a woman, but more than human. . . . 
When his eyes could not bear the apparition, he 
heard them conversing together on the subject of 
his doubts; and thereby not only gained a true 
knowledge of the faith, but learned their names, 
as they addressed each other by their respective 
appellations. And thus he is said to have heard 
the person in woman's shape bid ' John the Evan- 
gelist' disclose to the young man the mystery of 
godliness; and he answered that he was ready to 
comply in this matter with the wish of 'the Mother 
of the Lord,' and enunciated a formulary, well- 



I?EE INTERCESSORY POWER. 81 

turned and complete, and so vanished. He, on the 
other hand, immediately committed to writing that 
divine teaching of his mystagogue, and henceforth 
preached in the Church according to that form, 
and bequeathed to posterity, as an inheritance, 
that heavenly teaching, by means of which his 
people are instructed down to this day, being pre- 
served from all heretical evil." He proceeds to 
rehearse the Creed thus given, " There is One 
God, Father of a Living Word," &c. Bull, after 
quoting it in his work upon the Nicene Faith, 
alludes to this history of its origin, and adds, " No 
one should think it incredible that such a provi- 
dence should befall a man whose whole life was 
conspicuous for revelations and miracles, as all 
ecclesiastical writers who have mentioned him (and 
who has not?) witness with one voice." 

Here she is represented as rescuing a holy soul 
from intellectual error. This leads me to a further 
reflection. You seem, in one place in your Volume, 
to object to the Antiphon, in which it is said of 
her, "All heresies thou hast destroyed alone." 
Surely the truth of it is verified in this age, as in 
former times, and especially by the doctrine con- 
cerning her, on which I have been dwelling. She 
is the great exemplar of prayer in a generation, 
which emphatically denies the power of prayer in 
toto^ which determines that fatal laws govern the 
universe, that there cannot be any direct com- 
munication between earth and heaven, that God 



82 TRUE AND FALSE DEVOTION 

cannot visit His earth, and that man cannot in- 
fluence His providence. 

I cannot help hoping that your own reading of 
the Fathers will on the whole bear me out in the 
above account of their teaching concerning the 
Blessed Virojin. Ansrlicans seem to me to overlook 
the strength of the argument adducible from their 
works in our favour, and they open the attack upon 
our mediaeval and modern writers, careless of leaving 
a host of primitive opponents in their rear. I do 
not include you among such Anglicans, as you know 
what the Fathers assert; but, if so, have you not, 
my dear Friend, been unjust to yourself in your 
recent Volume, and made far too much of the dif- 
ferences which exist between Anglicans and us on 
this particular point ? It is the office of an Irenicon 
to smoothe difficulties ; I shall be pleased if I suc- 
ceed in removing some of yours. Let the public 
judge between us here. Had you happened in your 
Volume to introduce your notice of our teaching 
about the Blessed Virgin, with a notice of the 
teaching of the Fathers concerning her, ordinary 
men would have considered that there was not much 
to choose between you and us. Though you ap- 
pealed ever so much, in your defence, to the authority 
of the " undivided Church," they would have said 
that you, who had such high notions of the Blessed 
Mary, were one of the last men who had a right 
to accuse us of quasi-idolatry. When they found 



TO THE BLESSED VIEGIN. 81J 

you calling her by the titles of Mother of God, 
Second Eve, and Mother of all Living, the Mother 
of Life, the Morning Star, the mystical new heaven, 
the sceptre of Orthodoxy, the All-undefiled Mother 
of Holiness, and the like, they would have deemed it 
a poor compensation for such language, that you pro- 
tested against her being called a Co-redemptress or 
a Priestess. And, if they were violent Protestants, 
they would not have read you with that relish and 
gratitude with which, as it is, they have perhaps 
accepted your testimony against us. Not that they 
would have been altogether right in their view of 
you ; — on the contrary I think there is a real dif- 
ference between what you protest against, and what 
with the Fathers you hold; but unread men and 
men of the world form a broad practical judgment 
of the things which come before them, and they 
would have felt in this case that they had the same 
right to be shocked at you, as you have to be 
shocked at us; — and further, which is the point to 
which I am coming, they would have said, that, 
granting some of our modern writers go beyond 
the Fathers in this matter, still the line cannot be 
logically drawn between the teaching of the Fathers 
concerning the Blessed Virgin and our own. This 
view of the matter seems to me true and important ; 
I do not think the line can be satisfactorily drawn, 
and to this point I shall now direct my attention. 

It is impossible, I say, in a doctrine like this, to 
draw the line cleanly between truth and error, right 

F 2 



84 TRUE AND FALSE DEVOTION 

and wrong. This is ever the case in concrete 
matters, which have life. Life in this world is 
motion, and involves a continual process of change. 
Living things grow into their perfection, into their 
decline, into their death. No rule of art will 
suffice to stop the operation of this natural law, 
whether in the material world or in the human 
mind. We can indeed encounter disorders, when 
they occur, by external antagonisms and remedies ; 
but we cannot eradicate the process itself, out of 
which they arise. Life has the same right to 
decay, as it has to wax strong. This is specially 
the case with great ideas. You may stifle them ; 
or you may refuse them elbow-room; or you may 
torment them with your continual meddling ; or 
you may let them have free course and range, and 
be content, instead of anticipating their excesses, to 
expose and restrain those excesses after they have 
occurred. But you have only this alternative ; and 
for myself, I prefer much, wherever it is possible, 
to be first generous and then just ; to grant full 
liberty of thought, and to call it to account when 
abused. 

If what I have been saying be true of energetic 
ideas generally, much more is it the case in matters 
of religion. Religion acts on the affections; who 
is to hinder these, when once roused, from gather- 
ing in their strength and running wild ? They are 
not gifted with any connatural principle within 
them, which renders them self-governing and self- 



TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 85 

adjusting. They hurry right on to their object, and 
often in their case it is, The more haste, the worse 
speed. Their object engrosses them, and they see 
nothing else. And of all passions love is the most 
unmanageable ; nay more, I would not give much 
for that love which is never extravagant, which 
always observes the proprieties, and can move 
about in perfect good taste, under all emergencies. 
What mother, what husband or wife, what youth 
or maiden in love, but says a thousand foolish 
things, in the way of endearment, which the 
speaker would be sorry for strangers to hear; yet 
they are not on that account unwelcome to the 
parties to whom they are addressed. Sometimes by 
bad luck they are written down, sometimes they 
get into the newspapers ; and w^hat might be even 
graceful, when it was fresh from the heart, and 
interpreted by the voice and the countenance, 
presents but a melancholy exhibition when served 
up cold for the public eye. So it is with devo- 
tional feelinofs. Burninf]^ thouo^hts and words are 
as open to criticism as they are beyond it. What 
is abstractedly extravagant, may in religious per- 
sons be becoming and beautiful, and only fall under 
blame when it is found in others who imitate them. 
When it is formalized into meditations or exercises, 
it is as repulsive as love-letters in a police report. 
Moreover, even holy minds readily adopt and 
become familiar with language which they would 
never have originated themselves, when it proceeds 



86 TRCTE AND FALSE DEVOTION 

from a writer who has the same objects of devotion 
as they have ; and, if they find a stranger ridicule 
or reprobate supplication or praise which has come 
to them so recommended, they feel it as keenly as if 
a direct insult were offered to those to whom that 
homage is addressed. In the next place, what has 
power to stir holy and refined souls is potent also 
with the multitude; and the religion of the multi- 
tude is ever vulgar and abnormal; it ever will be 
tinctured with fanaticism and superstition, while 
men are what they are. A people's religion is ever 
a corrupt religion, in spite of the provisions of 
Holy Church. If she is to be Catholic, you must 
put up with fish of every kind, guests good and bad, 
vessels of gold, vessels of earth. You may beat 
religion out of men, if you will, and then their 
excesses will take a different direction ; but if you 
make use of religion to improve them, they will 
make use of religion to corrupt it. And then you 
will have efi^ected that compromise of which our 
countrymen report so unfavourably from abroad : — 
a high grand faith and worship which compels 
their admiration, and puerile absurdities among 
the people which excite their contempt. 

Nor is it any safeguard against these excesses in 
a religious system, that the religion is based upon 
reason, and developes into a theology. Theology 
both uses logic and baffles it; and thus logic acts 
both as a protection and as the perversion of reli- 
gion. Theology is occupied with supernatural 



TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 87 

matters, and is ever running into mysteries, which 
reason can neither explain nor adjust. Its lines of 
thought come to an abrupt termination, and to 
pursue them or to complete them is to plunge 
down the abyss. But logic blunders on, forcing 
its way, as it can, through thick darkness and 
ethereal mediums. The Arians went ahead with 
logic for their directing principle, and so lost the 
truth; on the other hand, St. Augustine, in his 
Treatise on the Holy Trinity, seems to show that, if 
we attempt to find and tie together the ends of 
lines which run into infinity, we shall only succeed 
in contradicting ourselves; that for instance it is 
diflScult to find the logical reason for not speaking 
of three Gods as well as of One, and of One Per- 
son in the Godhead as well as of Three. I do not 
mean to say that logic cannot be used to set right 
its own error, or that in the hands of an able dis- 
putant the balance of truth may not be restored. 
This was done at the Councils of Antioch and 
Nica^a, in the instances of Paulus and Arius. But 
such a process is circuitous and elaborate ; and is 
conducted by means of minute subtleties which 
will give it the appearance of a game of skill in 
the case of matters too grave and practical to de- 
serve a mere scholastic treatment. Accordingly 
St. Augustine simply lays it down that the state- 
ments in question are heretical, for the former is 
Tritheism and the latter Sabellianism. That is, 
good sense and a large view of truth, are the cor- 



88 TRUE AND FALSE DEVOTION 

rectives of his logic. And thus we have arrived 
at the final resolution of the whole matter; for 
good sense and a large view of truth are rare gifts ; 
whereas all men are bound to be devout, and most 
men think they can argue and conclude. 

Now let me apply what I have been saying to 
the teaching of the Church on the subject of the 
Blessed Virgin. I have to recur to a subject of so 
sacred a nature, that, writing as I am for publi- 
cation, I need the apology of my object for ven- 
turing to pursue it. I say then, when once we 
have mastered the idea, that Mary bore, suckled, 
and handled the Eternal in the form of a child, 
what limit is conceivable to the rush and flood of 
thoughts which such a doctrine involves ? What 
awe and surprise must attend upon the knowledge, 
that a creature has been brought so close to the 
Divine Essence ? It was the creation of a new idea 
and of a new sympathy, of a new faith and worship, 
when the holy Apostles announced that God had 
become incarnate ; and a supreme love and devo- 
tion to Him became possible, which seemed hope- 
less before that revelation. But besides this, a 
second range of thoughts was opened on mankind, 
unknown before, and unlike any other, as soon as 
it was understood that that Incarnate God had a 
mother. The second idea is perfectly distinct from 
the former, the one does not interfere with the 
other. He is God made low, she is a woman made 
high. I scarcely like to use a familiar illustration 



TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 89 

on such a subject, but it will serve to explain what 
I mean, when I ask you to consider the difference of 
feeling, with which we read the respective histories 
of Maria Theresa and the Maid of Orleans ; or with 
which the middle and lower classes of a nation 
regard a first minister of the day who has come of 
an aristocratic house, and one who has risen from 
the ranks. May God's mercy keep me from the 
shadow of a thought dimming the purity or blunting 
the keenness of that love of Him, which is our sole 
happiness and our sole salvation! But surely 
when He became man, He brought home to us His 
incommunicable attributes with a distinctiveness, 
which precludes the possibility of our lowering Him 
merely by exalting a creature. He alone has an 
entrance into our soul, reads our secret thoughts, 
speaks to our heart, applies to us spiritual pardon 
and strength. On Him we solely depend. He 
alone is our inward life ; He not only regenerates 
us, but (to allude to a higher mystery) semper 
gigjiit ; He is ever renewing our new birth and 
our heavenly sonship. In this sense He may be 
called, as in nature, so in grace, our real Father. 
Mary is only our mother by adoption, given us from 
the Cross; her presence is above, not on earth; 
her office is external, not within us. Her name is 
not heard in the administration of the Sacraments. 
Her work is not one of ministration towards us; 
her power is indirect. It is her prayers that avail, 
and they are effectual by the Jiat of Him who is 



90 TRUE AND FALSE DEVOTION 

our all in all. Nor need she hear us by any innate 
power, or any personal gift ; but by His manifes- 
tation to her of the prayers which we make her. 
When Moses was on the Mount, the Almighty told 
him of the idolatry of his people at the foot of it, in 
order that he might intercede for them; and thus it 
is the Divine Presence which is the intermediating 
Power by which we reach her and she reaches us. 

Woe is me, if even by a breath I sully these in- 
effable truths ! but still, without prejudice to them, 
there is, I say, another range of thought quite dis- 
tinct from them, incommensurate with them, of 
which the Blessed Virgin is the centre. If we 
placed our Lord in that centre, we should only 
be degrading Him from His throne, and making 
Him an Arian kind of a God; that is, no God 
at all. He who charges us with making Mary 
a divinity, is thereby denying the divinity of Jesus. 
Such a man does not know what divinity is. Our 
Lord cannot pray for us, as a creature, as Mary 
prays; He cannot inspire those feelings which a 
creature inspires. To her belongs, as being a 
creature, a natural claim on our sympathy and 
familiarity, in that she is nothing else than our 
fellow. She is our pride, — in the poet's words, 
" Our tainted nature's solitary boast." We look to 
her without any fear, any remorse, any conscious- 
ness that she is able to read us, judge us, punish 
us. Our heart yearns towards that pure Virgin, 
that gentle Mother, and our congratulations follow 



TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 91 

her, as she rises from Nazareth and Ephesus, 
through the choirs of angels, to her throne on high. 
So weak yet so strong; so delicate, yet so glory- 
laden ; so modest, yet so mighty. She has sketched 
for us her own portrait in the Magnificat. "He 
hath regarded the low estate of His hand-maid; for 
behold, from henceforth all generations shall call 
me blessed. He hath put down the mighty from 
their seat; and hath exalted the humble. He hath 
filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He 
hath sent empty away." I recollect the strange 
emotion which took by surprise men and women, 
young and old, when, at the Coronation of our 
present Queen, they gazed on the figure of one so 
like a child, so small, so tender, so shrinking, who 
had been exalted to so great an inheritance and so 
vast a rule, who was such a contrast in her own 
person to the solemn pageant which centred in her. 
Could it be otherwise with the spectators, if they 
had human affection ? And did not the All-wise 
know the human heart when He took to Himself a 
Mother ? did He not anticipate our emotion at the 
sight of such an exaltation ? If He had not meant 
her to exert that wonderful influence in His Church, 
which she has in the event exerted, I will use a bold 
word. He it is who has perverted us. If she is not 
to attract our homage, why did He make her soli- 
tarv in her greatness amid His vast creation ? If 
it be idolatry in us to let our affections respond to 
our faith, He would not have made her what she 



92 TRUE AND FALSE DEVOTION 

is, or He would not have told us that He had so 
made her; but, far from this, He has sent His 
Prophet to announce to us, " A Virgin shall con- 
ceive and bear a Son, and they shall call His name 
Emmanuel," and we have the same warrant for 
hailing her as God's Mother, as we have for adoring 
Him as God. 

Christianity is eminently an objective religion. 
For the most part it tells us of persons and facts in 
simple words, and leaves the announcement to pro- 
duce its effect on such hearts as are prepared to re- 
ceive it. This at least is its general character; 
and Butler recognizes it as such in his Analogy, 
when speaking of the Second and Third Persons of 
the Holy Trinity : — "The internal worship," he says, 
" to the Son and Holy Ghost is no farther matter of 
pure revealed command than as the relations they 
stand in to us are matters of pure revelation ; for the 
relations beino^ known, the oblio^ations to such inter- 
nal worship are obligations of reason arising out of 
those relations themselves ^" It is in this way that 
the revealed doctrine of the Incarnation exerted a 
stronger and a broader influence on Christians, as 
they more and more apprehended and mastered its 
meaning and its bearings. It is contained in the 
brief and simple declaration of St. John, "The 
Word was made flesh;" but it required century after 
century to spread it out in its fulness, and to im- 

' Vid. Essay on Doctr. Dev., p. 50. 



TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 95 

print it energetically on the worship and practice of 
the Catholic people as well as on their faith. Atha- 
nasius was the first and the great teacher of it. Ho 
collected together the inspired notices scattered 
through David, Isaias, St. Paul, and St. John, and 
he engraved indelibly upon the imaginations of 
the faithful, as had never been before, that man is 'yu-4 < 
God, and God is man, that in Mary they meet, and q ^ 
that in this sense Mary is the centre of all things. (J^-rvvi 
He added nothing to what was known before, no- 
thing to the popular and zealous faith that her Son 
was God; he has left behind him in his works no 
such definite passages about her as those of St. 
Irenseus or St. Epiphanius; but he brought the 
circumstances of the Incarnation home to men's 
minds, by the manifold evolutions of his analysis, 
and secured it for ever from perversion. Still, 
however, there was much to be done ; we have no 
proof that Athanasius himself had any special 
devotion to the Blessed Virgin; but he laid the 
foundations on which that devotion was to rest, 
and thus noiselessly and without strife, as the 
first Temple in the Holy City, she grew up into 
her inheritance, and was " established in Sion and 
her power was in Jerusalem." Such was the origin 
of that august cultus which has been paid to the 
Blessed Mary for so many centuries in the East and 
in the West. That in times and places it has fallen 
into abuse, that it has even become a superstition, 
I do not care to deny ; for, as I have said above, the 



iftfOai^ 



94 EXPLANATIONS. 

same process which brings to maturity carries on to 
decay, and things that do not admit of abuse have 
very little life in them. This of course does not 
excuse such excesses, or justify us in making light 
of them, when they occur. I have no intention of 
doing so as regards the particular instances which 
you bring against us, though but a few words will 
suffice for what I need say about them: — before 
doing so, however, I am obliged to make three or 
four introductory remarks. 

1. I have almost anticipated my first remark 
already. It is this : that the height of our offend- 
ing in our devotion to the Blessed Virgin would 
not look so great in your Volume as it does, had 
you not placed yourself on lower ground than your 
own feelings towards her would have spontaneously 
prompted you to take. I have no doubt you had 
some good reason for adopting this course, but I 
do not know it; what I do know is, that, for the 
Fathers' sake who so exalt her, you really do love 
andvenerate her, though you do not evidence it in 
your book. I am glad then in this place to insist 
on a fact which will lead those among us, who 
■^^know you not, to love you from their love of her, 
in spite of what you refuse to give her; and Angli- 
cans, on the other hand, who do know you, to think 
better of us, who refuse her nothing, when they 
reflect that you do not actually go against us, but 
merely come short of us, in your devotion to her. 



EXPLANATIONS. 95 

2. As you revere the Fathers, so you revere the 
Gfreek Church; and here again we have a witness 
on our behalf, of which you must be aware as fully 
as we are, and of which you must really mean to 
give us the benefit. In proportion as this remark- 
able fact is understood, it will take off the edge 
of the surprise of Anglicans at the sight of our 
devotions to our Lady. It must weigh with them, 
when they discover that we can enlist on our side 
in this controversy those "seventy millions" (I 
think they so consider them) of Orientals, who are 
separated from our communion. Is it not a very 
pregnant fact, that the Eastern Churches, so inde- 
pendent of us, so long separated from the West, so 
jealous of Antiquity, should even surpass us in their 
exaltation of the Blessed Virgin ? That they go 
further than we do is sometimes denied, on the 
ground that the Western devotion towards her is 
brought out into system, and the Eastern is not; 
yet this only means really, that the Latins have 
more mental activity, more strength of intellect, 
less of routine, less of mechanical worship among 
them, than the Greeks. We are able, better than 
they, to give an account of what we do; and wo 
seem to be more extreme, merely because we are 
more definite. But, after all, what have the Latins 
done so bold, as that substitution of the name of 
Mary for the Name of Jesus at the end of the 
collects and petitions in the Breviary, nay in the 
Ritual and Liturgy ? Not merely in local or popu- 



96 EXPLANATIONS. 

lar, and in semi-authorized devotions, which are 
the kind of sources that supplies you with your 
matter of accusation against us, but in the formal 
prayers of the Greek Eucharistic Service, petitions 
are oifered, not " in the name of Jesus Christ," 
but " of the Theotocos." Such a phenomenon, in 
such a quarter, I think ought to make Anglicans 
merciful towards those writers among ourselves, 
who have been excessive, in singing the praises of 
the Deipara. To make a rule of substituting Mary 
with all Saints for Jesus in the public service, has 
more " Mariolatry " in it, than to alter the Te 
Deum to her honour in private devotion. 

3. And thus I am brought to a third remark, 
supplemental to your accusation of us. Two large 
views, as I have said above, are opened upon our 
devotional thoughts in Christianity; the one cen- 
tering in the Son of Mary, the other in the JNIother 
of Jesus. Neither need obscure the other ; and in 
the Catholic Church, as a matter of fact, neither 
does. I wish you had either frankly allowed this 
in your Volume, or proved the contrary. I wish, 
when you report that " a certain proportion, it has 
been ascertained by those who have inquired, do 
stop short in her," p. 107, that you had added your 
belief, that the case was far otherwise with the 
great bulk of Catholics. Might I not have expected 
it ? May I not, without sensitiveness, be some- 
what pained at the omission ? From mere Protes- 
tants indeed I expect nothing better. They con- 



EXPLANATIONS. 97 

tent themselves with saying that our devotions to 
our Lady must necessarily throw our Lord into 
the shade ; and thereby they relieve themselves of 
a great deal of trouble. Then they catch at any 
stray fact which countenances or seems to coun- 
tenance their prejudice. Now I say plainly I 
never will defend or screen any one from your 
just rebuke, who, through false devotion to Mary, 
forgets Jesus. But I should like the fact to be 
proved first; I cannot hastily admit it. There 
is this broad fact the other way ; — that, if we look 
through Europe, we shall find, on the whole, that 
just those nations and countries have lost their 
faith in the divinity of Christ, who have given up 
devotion to His Mother, and that those on the 
other hand, who have been foremost in her honour, 
have retained their orthodoxy. Contrast, for in- 
stance, the Calvinists with the Greeks, or France 
with the Korth of Germany, or the Protestant 
and Catholic communions in Ireland. As to Enof- 
land, it is scarcely doubtful what would be the 
state of its Established Church, if the Liturgy and 
Articles were not an integral part of its Esta- 
blishment ; and, when men bring so grave a charge 
against us as is implied in your Volume, they cannot 
be surprised if we in turn say hard things of An- 
glicanism K In the Catholic Church Mary has 

' I have spoken more on this subject in my Essay on Deve- 
lopment, p. 438, " Nor does it avail to object, that, in this con- 
trast of devotional exercises, the human is sure to supplant the 

G 



98 EXPLANATIONS. 

shown herself, not the rival, but the minister of her 
Son ; she has protected Him, as in His infancy, so 
in the whole history of the Eeligion. There is then 
a plain historical truth in Dr. Faber's words which 
you quote to condemn, " Jesus is obscured, because 
Mary is kept in the back-ground." 

This truth, exemplified in history, might also be 
abundantly illustrated, did my space admit, from 
the lives and writings of holy men in modern times. 
Two of them, St. Alfonso Liguori and the Blessed 
Paul of the Cross, for all their notorious devotion 
to the Mother, have shown their supreme love of 
her Divine Son, in the names which they have 
given to their respective congregations, viz. " of the 
Redeemer," and " of the Cross and Passion." How- 
ever, I will do no more than refer to an apposite 
passage in the Italian translation of the work of a 
French Jesuit, Fr. Nepveu, " Christian Thoughts 

Divine, from the infirmity of our nature; for, I repeat, tlie 
question is one of fact, whether it has done so. And next, it 
must be asked, wJiether the character of Protestant devotion 
towards our Lord, has heen that of worship at all ; and not 
rather such as we pay to an excellent human being. . . . Carnal 
minds will ever create a carnal worship for themselves ; and to 
forbid them the service of the saints will have no tendency to 
teach them the worship of God. Moreover, . . . great and 
constant as is the devotion which the Catholic pays to St. 
Mary, it has a special province, and has far more connexion 
with the public services and the festive aspect of Christianity, and 
with certain extraordinary offices which she holds, than tvith 
what is strictly personal and primary in religion." Our late 
Cardinal, on my reception, singled out to me this last sentence, 
for the expression of his especial approbation. 



EXPLANATIONS. 99 

for every Day in the Year," which was recom- 
mended to the friend who went with me to Rome, 
by the same Jesuit Father there, with whom, as I 
have already said, I stood myself in such inti- 
mate relations ; I believe it is a fair specimen of 
the teaching of our spiritual books. 

" The love of Jesus Christ is the most sure pledge of our 
future happiness, and the most infallible token of our pre- 
destination. Mercy towards the poor, devotion to the Holy 
Virgin, are very sensible tokens of predestination ; nevertheless 
thev are not absolutely infallible ; but one cannot have a 
sincere and constant love of Jesus Christ, without being pre- 
destinated. . . . The destroying angel, which bereaved the 
houses of the Egyptians of their first-born, had respect to all 
the houses which were marked with the blood of the Lamb." 

And it is also exemplified, as I verily believe, 
not only in formal and distinctive Confessions, not 
only in books intended for the educated class, but 
also in the personal religion of the Catholic popu- 
lations. When strangers are so unfavourably im- 
pressed with us, because they see Images of our 
Lady in our Churches, and crowds flocking about 
her, they forget that there is a Presence within the 
sacred walls, infinitely more awful, which claims 
and obtains from us a worship transcendently dif- 
ferent from any devotion we pay to her. That 
devotion might indeed tend to idolatry, if it were 
encouraged in Protestant Churches, where there is 
nothing higher than it to attract the worshipper; 
but all the images that a Catholic Church ever 
contained, all the Crucifixes at its Altars brought 

G 2 



100 EXPLANATIONS . 

I together, do not so affect its frequenters, as the lamp 
I which betokens the presence or absence there of 
1 the Blessed Sacrament. Is not this so certain, so 
? notorious, that on some occasions it has been even 
I brought as a charge against us, that we are irreve- 

irent in Church, when what seemed to the objector 
to be irreverence was but the necessary change 
I of feeling, which came over those who were there, 
I on their knowing that their Lord was away ? 

The Mass again conveys to us the same lesson of 
the sovereignty of the Incarnate Son ; it is a return 
to Calvary, and Mary is scarcely named in it. Hos- 
tile visitors enter our Churches on Sunday at mid- 
*^ /T/M" dav, the time of the Angli c an Ser_vic e. They are 
^^jfY'Ss surprised to see the Hign Mass perhaps poorly 
attended, and a body of worshippers leaving the 
music and the mixed multitude who may be lazily 
fulfilling their obligation, for the silent or the in- 
formal devotions which are oifered at an Image of 
the Blessed Virgin. They may be tempted, with 
one of your informants, to call such a temple, not a 
" Jesus Church," but a '' Mary Church." But, if 
they understood our ways, they would know that 
we begin the day with our Lord and then go on to 
His Mother. It is early in the morning that reli- 
gious persons go to Mass and Communion. The 
High Mass, on the other hand, is the festive cele- 
bration of the dav, not the special devotional ser- 
vice; nor is there any reason why those who have 
been at a Low Mass already, should not at that 



EXPLANATIONS. 101 

hour proceed to ask the intercession of the Blessed 
Virgin for themselves and all that is dear to them. 
Communion, again, whic h is given in the morn- 
ing, is a solemn unequivocal act of faith in the In- 
carnate God, if any can be such ; and the most 
gracious of admonitions, did we need one, of His 
sovereign and sole right to possess us. I knew a 
lady, who on her death-bed was visited by an 
excellent Protestant friend. She, with great 
tenderness for her soul's welfare, asked her whe- 
ther her prayers to the Blessed Virgin did not, 
at that awful hour, lead to forgetfulness of her 
Saviour. " Forget Him ? " she replied with sur- 
prise, "Why, He has just been here." She had 
been receiving Him m communion. When then, 
my dear Pusey, you read any thing extravagant in 
praise of our Lady, is it not charitable to ask, even 
while you condemn it in itself, did the author write 
nothing else ? Did he write on the Blessed Sacra- 
ment ? had he given up "^ jCoiL^g^sJ " I recol- 
lect some lines, the happiest, I think, which that 
author wrote, which bring out strikingly the reci- 
procity, which I am dwelling on, of the respective 
devotions to Mother and Son ; 

" But scornful men have coldly said 
Thy love was leading me from God ; 
And yet in this I did but tread 
The very path my Saviour trod. 

" They know but little of thy worth 

Who speak these heartless words to me ; 
For what did Jesus love on earth 
One half so tenderly as thee ? 



102 EXPLANATIONS. 

" Get me the grace to love thee more ; 
Jesus will give, if thou wilt plead ; 
And, Mother, when life's cares are o'er, 
Oh, I shall love thee then indeed. 

" Jesus, when His three hours were run, 
V ' Bequeathed thee from the Cross to m e ; 

And oh ! how can I love thy Son, 
Sweet Mother, if I love not thee." 

4. Thus we are brouglit from the consideration 
of the sentiments themselves, of which you com- 
plain, to the persons who wrote, and the places 
where they wrote them. I wish you had been led, 
in this part of your work, to that sort of careful 
labour which you have employed in so masterly a 
way in your investigation of the circumstances of 
the definition of the Immaculate Conception. In 
the latter case you have catalogued the Bishops 
who wrote to the Holy See, and analyzed their 
answers. Had you in like manner discriminated 
and located the Marian writers, as you call them, 
and observed the times, places, and circumstances 
of their works, I think, they would not, when 
brought together, have had their present startling 
effect on the reader. As it is, they inflict a vague 
alarm upon the mind, as when one hears a noise, 
and does not know whence it comes and what it 
means. Some of your authors, I know are Saints ; 
all, I suppose, are spiritual writers and holy men ; 
but the majority are of no great celebrity, even if 
they have any kind of weight. Suarez has no busi- 
ness among them at all, for, when he says that no 
one is saved without the Blessed Virgin, he is speak- 



EXPLANATIONS. 103 

ing not of devotion to her, but of her intercession. 
The greatest name is St. Alfonso Liguori ; but it 
never surprises me to read any thing unusual in 
the devotions of a saint. Such men are on a level 
very diflPerent from our own; and we cannot under- 
stand them. I hold this to be an important canon 
in the Lives of the Saints, according to the words 
of the Apostle, " The spiritual man judges all 
things, and he himself is judged of no one." But 
we may refrain from judging, without proceeding 
to imitate. I hope it is not disrespectful to so 
great a servant of God to say, that I ne ver have read 
his Glories of Mary ; but here I am speaking gene- 
rally of all Saints, whether I know them or not; 
— and I say that they are beyond us, and that we 
must use them as patterns, not as copies. As to 
his practical directions, St. Alfonso wrote them for 
Neapolitans, whom he knew, and we do not know. 
Other writers whom you quote, as de Salazar, are 
too ruthlessly logical to be safe or pleasant guides 
in the delicate matters of devotion. As to de 
Montford and Oswald, I never even met with their 
names, till I saw them in your book; the bulk of 
our laity, not to say of our clergy, perhaps know 
them little better than I do. Nor did I know till 
I learnt it from your Volume, that there were two 
Bernardines. St. Bernardine of Sienna, I knew of 
course, and knew too that he had a burninof love 
for jour Lord. But about the other, " Bernardine de 
Bustis," I was quite at fault. I find from the Pro- 



1 04 EXPLANATIONS. 

testant Cave, that he, as well as his namesake, made 
himself conspicuous also for his zeal for the Holy 
Name, which is much to the point here. " With 
such devotion was he carried away," says Cave, " for 
the bare name of Jesus, (which, by a new device of 
Bernardine of Sienna, had lately begun to receive 
divine honours,) that he was urgent with Innocent 
VIII. to assign it a day and rite in the Calendar." 
One thing, however, is clear about all these 
writers; that not one of them is an Englishman. 
I have gone through your book, and do not find 
one English name among the various authors to 
whom you refer, except of course the name of that 
author whose lines I have been quoting, and who, 
great as are his merits, cannot, for the reasons I 
have given in the opening of my Letter, be con- 
sidered a representative of English Catholic devo- 
tion. Whatever these writers may have said or 
not said, whatever they may have said harshly, 
and whatever capable of fair explanation, still they 
are foreigners; we are not answerable f or thei r 
particular devotions; and as to themselves, I am 
glad to be able to quote the beautiful words which 
you use about them in your letter to the Weekly 
Register of November 25th last. " I do not 
presume," you say, " to prescribe to Italians 
or Spaniards, what they shall hold, or how they 
shall express their p ious opinions ; and least of all 
did I think of imputing to any of the writers whom 
I quoted that they took from our Lord any of the 



EXPLANATIONS. 105 

love which they gave to His Mother." In these 
last words too you have supplied one of the omis- 
sions in your Volume which I noticed above. 

.^. Now then we come to England itself, which 
after all, in the matter of devotion, alone concerns 
you and me; for though doctrine is one and the 
same every where, devotions, as I have already 
said, are matters of the particular time and the 
particular country. I suppose we owe it to the 
national good sense, that English Catholics have 
been protected from the extravagances which are 
elsewhere to be found. And we owe it also to the 
wisdom and moderation of the Holy See, which, in 
giving us the pattern for our devotion, as well as 
the rule of our faith, has never indulged in those 
curiosities of thought which are both so attractive 
to undisciplined imaginations and so dangerous to 
grovelling hearts. In the case of our own common 
people I think such a forced style of devotion would 
be simply unintelligible; as to the educated, I 
doubt whether it can have more than an occasional 
or temporary influence. If the Catholic faith 
spreads in England, these peculiarities will not 
spread with it. There is a healthy devotion to 
the Blessed Mary, and there is an artificial; it is 
possible to love her as a Mother, to honour her as 
a Virgin, to seek her as a Patron, and to exalt her 
as a Queen, without any injury to solid piety and 
Christian good sense: — I cannot help calling this 
the English style. I wonder whether you find any 



106 . EXPLANATIONS. 

thing to displease you in the Garden of the Soul, 
the Key of Heaven, the Vade Mecum, the Golden 
Manual, or the Crown of Jesus. These are the 
books to which Anglicans ought to appeal, who 
would be fair to us in this matter. I do not ob- 
serve any thing in them which goes beyond the 
teaching of the Fathers, except so far as devo- 
tion goes beyond doctrine. 

There is one collection of Devotions besides, of 
the highest authority, which has been introduced 
from abroad of late years. It consists of prayers 
of very various kinds which have been indulgenced 
by the Popes ; and it commonly goes by the name 
of the Raccolta. As that word suggests, the lan- 
guage of many of the prayers is Italian, while 
others are in Latin. This circumstance is unfa- 
vourable to a translation, which, however skilful, 
must ever savour of the words and idioms of the 
original; but, passing over this necessary disad- 
vantage, I consider there is hardly a clause in the 
good-sized volume in question which even the sensi- 
tiveness of English Catholicism would wish changed. 
Its anxious observance of doctrinal exactness is 
almost a fault. It seems afraid of using the words 
"give me," "make me," in its addresses to the 
Blessed Virgin, which are as natural to adopt, as in 
addressing a parent or friend. Surely we do not dis- 
parage Divine Providence when we say that we are 
indebted to our parents for our life, or when we ask 
their blessing ; we do not show any atheistical lean- 



EXPLANATIONS. 107 

ing, because we say that a man's recovery must be 
left to nature, or that nature supplies brute animals 
with instincts. In like manner it seems to me a 
simple purism, to insist upon minute accuracy of 
expression in devotional and popular writings. 
However, the Raccolta^ as coming from responsible 
authority, for the most part observes it. It com- 
monly uses the phrases, " gain for us by thy 
prayers," " obtain for us," " pray to Jesus for me," 
" Speak for me, Mary," " carry thou our prayers," 
"ask for us grace," "intercede for the people of 
God," and the like, marking thereby with great 
emphasis that she is nothing more than an Advo- 
cate, and not a source of mercy. Nor do I recollect 
in this book more than one or two ideas to which 
you would be likely to raise an objection. The 
strongest of these is found in the Novena before 
her Nativity, in which, apropos of her Birth, we pray 
that she " would come down again, and be re-born 
spiritually in our souls ;" — but it will occur to you 
that St. Paul speaks of his wish to impart to 
his converts, " not only the gospel, but his own 
soul;" and writing to the Corinthians, he says 
he has "begotten them by the gospel," and to 
Philemon, that he had " begotten Onesimus, in 
his bonds;" whereas St. James, with greater accu- 
racy of expression, says "of His own will hath 
God begotten us with the word of truth." Again 
we find the petitioner saying to the Blessed 
Mary, " In thee I place all my hope ;" but this is 



108 EXPLANATIONS. 

explained in another passage, " Thou art my best 
hope, after Jesus." Again, we read elsewhere, " I 
would I had a greater love for thee, since to love 
thee is a great mark of predestination;" but the 
prayer goes on, " Thy Son deserves of us an im- 
measurable love ; pray that I may have this grace, a 
great love for Jesus," and further on, " I covet no 
good of the earth, but to love my God alone." 

Then again, as to the lessons which our Catholics 
receive, whether by catechising or instruction, you 
would find nothing in our received manuals to which 
you would not assent, I am quite sure. Again, as to 
preaching, a standard book was drawn up three 
centuries ago, to supply matter for the purpose to 
the parochial clergy. You incidentally mention, 
p. 153, that the comment of Cornelius a Lapide on 
Scripture is " a repertorium for sermons ;" but I 
never heard of this work being used, nor indeed can 
it, because of its size. The work provided for the 
jjurpose by the Church is the " Catechism of the 
Council of Trent," and nothing extreme about our 
Blessed Lady is propounded there. On the whole 
I am sanguine that you will come to the conclusion, 
that Anglicans may safely trust themselves to us 
English Catholics, as regards any devotions to the 
Blessed Virgin which might be required of them, 
over and above the rule of the Council of Trent. 

6. And, now at length coming to the statements, 
not English, but foreign, which offend you in works 
written in her honour, I will frankly say that I read 



EXPLANATIONS. 109 

some of those which you quote with grief and 
almost anger; for they seemed to me to ascribe to 
the Blessed Virgin a power of " searching the reins 
and hearts," which is the attribute of God alone ; 
and I said to myself, how can we any more prove 
our Lord's divinity from Scripture, if those cardinal 
passages which invest Him with divine preroga- 
tives, after all invest Him with nothing beyond what 
His Mother shares with Him ? And how, again, 
is there any thing of incommunicable greatness in 
His death and passion, if He who was alone in 
the garden, alone upon the cross, alone in the 
resurrection, after all is not alone, but shared His 
solitary work with His Blessed Mother, — with her 
to whom, when He entered on His ministry. He said 
for our instruction, not as grudging her her proper 
glory, " Woman, what have I to do with thee ? " 
And then again, if I hate those perverse sayings so 
much, how much more must she, in proportion to 
her love of Him ? and how do we show our love for 
her, by wounding her in the very apple of her eye ? 
This I said and say ; but then on the other hand I 
have to observe that these strange words after all 
are but few in number, out of the many passages 
you cite ; that most of them exemplify what I said 
above about the difficulty of determining the exact 
point where truth passes into error, and that they 
are allowable in one sense or connexion, and false 
in another. Thus to say that prayer (and the 
Blessed Virgin's prayer) is omnipotent, is a harsh 



1 1 EXPLANATIONS. 

expression in every-day prose ; but, if it is explained 
to mean that there is nothing which prayer may 
not obtain from God, it is nothing else than the 
very promise made us in Scripture. Again, to 
say that Mary is the centre of all being, sounds 
inflated and profane; yet after all it is only one 
way, and a natural way, of saying that the Creator 
and the creature met together, and became one in 
her womb ; and as such, I have used the expression 
above. Again, it is at first sight a paradox to say 
that " Jesus is obscured, because Mary is kept in 
the back-ground;" yet there is a sense, as I have 
shown above, in which it is a simple truth. 

And so again certain statements may be true, 
under circumstances and in a particular time and 
place, which are abstractedly false; and hence it 
may be very unfair in a controversialist to inter- 
pret by an English or a modern rule, whatever may 
have been asserted by a foreign or mediaeval author. 
To say, for instance, dogmatically, that no one 
can be saved without personal devotion to the 
Blessed Virgin, would be an untenable proposition ; 
yet it might be true of this man or that, or of this 
or that country at this or that date; and if the 
very statement has ever been made by any writer of 
consideration (and this has to be ascertained), then 
perhaps it was made precisely under these excep- 
tional circumstances. If an Italian preacher made 
it, I should feel no disposition to doubt him, at 
least as regards Italian youths and Italian maidens. 



EXPLANATIONS. Ill 

Then I think you have not always made your 
quotations Avith that consideration and kindness 
which is your rule. At p. 106, you say, "It is 
commonly said, that, if any Roman Catholic ac- 
knowledges that ' it is good and useful to pray to 
the saints,' he is not bound himself to do so. 
Were the above teaching true, it would be cruelty 
to say so ; because, according to it, he would be 
forfeiting what is morally necessary to his salva- 
tion," But now, as to the fact, where is it said 
that to pray to our Lady and the Saints is neces- 
sary to salvation ? The proposition of St. Alfonso 
is, that " God gives no grace except through 
Mary;" that is through her intercession. But 
intercession is one thing, devotion is another. 
And Suarez says, " It is the universal sentiment 
that the intercession of Mary is not only useful, 
but also in a certain manner necessary;" but still 
it is the question of her intercession, not of our 
invocation of her, not of devotion to her. If it were 
so, no Protestant could be saved ; if it w^ere so, there 
would be grave reasons for doubting of the sal- 
vation of St. Chrysostom or St. Athanasius, or of 
the primitive Martyrs ; nay, I should like to know 
whether St. Augustine, in all his voluminous writ- 
ings, invokes her once. Our Lord died for those 
heathens who did not know Him ; and His Mother 
intercedes for those Christians who do not know 
her ; and she intercedes according to His will, 
and, when He wills to save a particular soul, she at 



112 EXPLANATIONS. 

once prays for it. I say, He wills indeed according 
to her prayer, but then she prays according to His 
will. Though then it is natural and prudent for 
those to have recourse to her, who from the Church's 
teaching know her power, yet it cannot be said 
that devotion to her is a sine-qud-non of salvation. 
Some indeed of the authors, whom you quote, go 
further; they do speak of devotion; but even then, 
they do not enunciate the general proposition 
which I have been disallowing. For instance, they 
say, " It is morally impossible for those to be saved 
who neglect the devotion to the Blessed Virgin;" 
but a simple omission is one thing, and neglect 
another. " It is impossible for any to be saved 
who turns away from her," yes ; but to " turn 
away " is to offer some positive disrespect or in- 
sult towards her, and that with sufficient know- 
ledge; and I certainly think it would be a very 
grave act, if in a Catholic country (and of such 
the writers were speaking, for they knew of no 
other), with Ave-Marias sounding in the air, and 
images of the Madonna in every street and road, 
a Catholic broke off or gave up a practice that was 
universal, and in which he was brought up, and 
deliberately put her name out of his thoughts. 

7. Though, then, common sense may determine 
for us, that the line of prudence and propriety has 
been certainly passed in the instance of certain 
statements about the Blessed Virgin, it is often not 
easy to prove the point logically ; and in such cases 



h.il. 



EXPLANATIONS. 113 

authority, if it attempt to act, would be in the 
position which so often happens in our courts of 
law, when the commission of an offence is morally 
certain, but the government prosecutor cannot find 
legal evidence sufficient to ensure conviction. lam 
not denying the right of Sacred Congregations, at L^^frO 
their will, to act peremptorily, and without assigning /t^Mf i^ 
reasons for the judgment they pass upon writers; 
but, when they have found it inexpedient to take 
this severe course, perhaps it may happen from the 
circumstances of the case, that there is no other 
that they can take, even if they would. It is wiser 
then for the most part to leave these excesses 
to the gradual operation of public opinion, that is, 
to the opinion of educated and sober Catholics; 
and this seems to me the healthiest way of putting 
them down. Yet in matter of fact I believe the 
Holy See has interfered from time to time, when 
devotion seemed running into superstition ; and not 
so long ago. I recollect hearing in Gregory the 
XVI.'s time, of books about the Blessed Virgin, 
which had been suppressed by authority; and in 
particular of a representation of the Immaculate 
Conception which he had forbidden, and of mea- 
sures taken against the shocking notion that the 
Blessed Mary is present in the Holy Eucharist, in 
the sense in which our Lord is present; but I have 
no means of verifying the information I received. 

Nor have I time, any more than you have had, to 
ascertain how far great theologians have made pro- 

H 



114 EXPLANATIONS. 

tests against those various extravagances of which 

you so rightly complain. Passages, however, from 

three well-known Jesuit Fathers have opportunely 

come in my way, and in one of them is introduced in 

confirmation, the name of the great Gerson. They 

are Canisius, Petavius, and Raynaudus ; and as they 

speak very appositely, and you do not seem to know 

them, I will here make some extracts from them: — 

(1.) Canisius: — ' 

" We confess that in the cultus of Mary it has been, and is 
possible for corruptions to creep in ; and we have a more than 
ordinary desire that the Pastors of the Churcli should be care- 
fully vigilant here, and give no place to Satan, \Yhose charac- 
teristic office it has ever been, while men sleep, to sow the 
cockle amid the Lord's wheat. . . . For this purpose it is his wont 
gladly to avail himself of the aid of heretics, fanatics, and false 
Catholics, as may be seen in the instance of this Marianus 
cultus. This cultus, heretics, suborned by Satan, attack with 
hostility. . . . Thus too, certain mad heads are so demented by 
Satan, as to embrace superstitions and idolatries instead of the 
true cultus, and neglect altogether the due measures whether 
in respect to God or to Mary. Such indeed were the Colly- 
ridians of old. . . . Such that German herdsman a hundred 
years ago, who gave out publicly that he was a new prophet, 
and had had a vision of the Deipara, and told the people in her 
name to pay no more tributes and taxes to princes. . . . More- 
over, how many Catholics does one see who, by great and 
shocking negligence, have neither care nor regard for her cultus, 
but, given to profane and secular objects, scarce once a year 
raise their earthly minds to sing her praises or to venerate 
her?" — De Maria Deipara, p. 518. 

(2.) Father Petau says, when discussing the 
teaching of the Fathers about the Blessed Virgin 
{de Incarn. xiv. 8.) — 



EXPLANATIONS. 115 

"I will venture to give this advice to all who would be 
devout and panegyrical towards the Holy Virgin, viz. not to 
exceed in their piety and devotion to her, but to be content 
with true and solid praises, and to cast aside what is otherwise. 
The latter kind of idolatry, lurking, as St. Augustine says, nay 
implanted in human hearts, is greatly abhorrent from Theo- 
logy, that is, from the gravity of heavenly wisdom, which 
never thinks or asserts any thing, but what is measured by 
certain and accurate rules. What that rule should be, and 
what caution is to be used in our present subject, I will not 
determine of myself; but according to the mind of a most 
weighty and most learned theologian, John Gerson, wbo in one 
of his Epistles proposes certain canons, which he calls truths, 
by means of which are to be measured the assertions of theolo- 
gians concerning the Incarnation By these truly 

golden precepts Gerson brings within bounds the immoderate 
licence of praising the Blessed Virgin, and restrains it within 
the measure of sober and healthy piety. And from these it is 
evident that that sort of reasoning is frivolous and nugatory, 
in which so many indulge, in order to assign any sort of grace 
they please, however unusual, to the Blessed Virgin. For they 
argue thus ; ' Whatever the Son of God could bestow for the 
glory of His Mother, that it became Him in fact to furnish ;' 
or again, ' Whatever honours or ornaments He has poured out 
on other saints, those all together hath He heaped upon His 
Mother ;' whence they draw their chain of reasoning to their 
desired conclusion; a mode of argumentation which Gerson 
treats with contempt as captious and sophistical." 

Hg adds, what of course we all should say, that, 
in thus speaking, he has no intention to curtail the 
liberty of pious persons in such meditations and 
conjectures, on the mysteries of faith, sacred his- 
tories and the Scripture text, as are of the nature 
of comments, supplements, and the like. 

(8.) Raynaud is an author, full of devotion, if 
any one is so, to the Blessed Virgin; yet in the 
• H 2 



116 EXPLANATIONS. 

work which he has composed in her honour {Dip- 
tyclia Mariana)^ he says more than I can quote 
here, to the same purpose as Petau. 1 abridge 
some portions of his text : — 

" Let this be taken for granted, that no praises of ours can 
come up to the praises due to the Virgin Mother. But we 
must not make up for our inability to reach her true praise, by 
a supply of lying embellishment and false honours. For there 
are some whose affection for religious objects is so imprudent 
and lawless, that they transgress the due limits even towards the 
saints. This Origen has excellently observed upon in the case 
of the Baptist, for very many, instead of observing the measure 
of charity, considered whether he might not be the Christ." 
p. 9. "... St. Anselm, the first, or one of the first champions of 
the public celebration of the Blessed Virgin's Immaculate Con- 
ception, says, de Ecccell. Virg., that the Church considers it inde- 
cent, that any thing that admits of doubt should be said in her 
praise, when the things which are certainly true of her supply 
such large materials for laudation. It is right so to interpret 
St. Epiphanius also, when he says that human tongues should 
not pronounce any thing lightly of the Deipara ; and who is 
more justly to be charged with speaking lightly of the most 
holy Mother of God, than he, who, as if what is certain and 
evident did not suffice for her full investiture, is wiser than the 
aged, and obtrudes on us the toadstools of his own mind, and 
devotions unheard of by those Holy Fathers who loved her 
best ? Plainly, as St. Anselm says, that she is the Mother of 
God, this by itself exceeds every elevation which can be named 
or imagined, short of God. About so sublime a majesty we 
should not speak hastily from prurience of wit, or flimsy pre- 
text of promoting piety ; but with great maturity of thought ; 
and, whenever the maxims of the Church and the oracles of 
faith do not suffice, then not without the suftrages of the Doc- 
tors Those who are subject to this prurience of inno- 
vation, do not perceive how broad is the difierence between 
subjects of human science, and heavenly things. All novelt}'- 
concerning the objects of our faith is to be put far away; 



EXPLANATIONS. 117 

except so far as by diligent investigation of God's "Word, 
written and unwritten, and a well founded inference from what 
is thence to be elicited, something is brought to light which 
though already indeed there, had not hitherto been recognized. 
The innovations which we condemn are those which rest nei- 
ther on the written nor unwritten Word, nor on conclusions 
from it, nor on the judgment of ancient sages, nor suflBcient 
basis of reason, but on the sole colour and pretext of doing 
more honour to the Deipara." — p. 10. 

In another portion of the same work, he speaks 
in particular of one of those imaginations to which 
you especially refer, and for which, without strict 
necessity (as it seems to me) you allege the autho- 
rity of a Lapide. 

" Nor is that honour of the Deipara to be offered, viz. that 
the elements of the body of Christ, which the Blessed Virgin 
supplied to it, remain perpetually unaltered in Christ, and 
thereby are found also in the Eucharist ..... This solicitude 
for the Virgin's glory, must, I consider, be discarded; since, 
if rightly considered, it involves an injury towards Christ, and 
such honours the Virgin loveth not. And first, dismissing 
philosophical bagatelles about the animation of blood, milk, &c., 
■who can endure the proposition that a good portion of the 
substance of Christ in the Eucharist should be worshipped 
with a cultus less than latria ? viz. by the inferior cultus of 
Jiyperdulia ? The preferable class of theologians contend that 
not even the humanity of Christ, is to be materially abstracted 
from the "Word of God, and worshipped by itself; how then 
shall we introduce a cultus of the Deipara in Christ, which is 
inferior to the cultus proper to Him ? How is this other than 
a casting down of the substance of Christ from His Eoyal 
Throne, and a degradation of it to some inferior sitting place ? 
It is nothing to the purpose to refer to such Fathers, as say 
that the flesh of Christ is the flesh of Mary, for they speak of 
its origin. "What will hinder, if this doctrine be admitted, our 
also admitting that there is something in Christ which is de- 



118 EXPLANATIONS. 

testable ? for, as the first elements of a body which were com- 
municated by the Virgin to Christ, have (as these authors say) 
remained perpetually in Christ, so the same materia, at least in 
part, which belonged originally to the ancestors of Christ, 
came down to the Virgin from her father, unchanged, and 
taken from her grandfather, and so on. And thus, since it is 
not unlikely that some of these ancestors were reprobate, there 
would now be something actually in Christ, which had belonged 
to a reprobate, and worthy of detestation." — p. 237. 

8. After such explanations, and with such au- 
thorities, to clear my path, I put away from me, as 
you would wish, without any hesitation, as matters 
in which my heart and reason have no part, (when 
taken in their literal and absolute sense, as any 
Protestant would naturally take them, and as the 
writers doubtless did not use them,) such sen- 
tences, and phrases, as these : — that the mercy of 
Marv is infinite; that God has resigned into her 
hands His omnipotence ; that (unconditionally) it is 
safer to seek her than her Son; that the Blessed 
Virgin is superior to God; that He is (simply) 
subject to her command; that our Lord is now of 
the same disposition as His Father towards sin- 
ners, viz. a disposition to reject them, while Mary 
takes His place as an Advocate with Father and 
Son ; that the Saints are more ready to intercede 
with Jesus than Jesus with the Father; that 
Mary is the only refuge of those with whom God 
is angry; that Mary alone can obtain a Pro- 
testant's conversion; that it would have sufficed 
for the salvation of men if our Lord had died, not 



EXPLANATIONS. 119 

to obey His Father, but to defer to the decree of 
His mother; that she rivals our Lord in being 
God's daughter, not by adoption, but by a kind of 
nature; that Christ fulfilled the office of Saviour 
by imitating her virtues; that, as the Incarnate 
God bore the image of His Father, so He bore the 
image of His Mother; that redemption derived 
from Christ indeed its sufficiency, but from Mary 
its beauty and loveliness; that as we are clothed 
with the merits of Christ so we are clothed with the 
merits of Mary ; that, as He is Priest in a like sense 
is she Priestess ; that His Body and Blood in the 
Eucharist are truly hers and appertain to her ; that 
as He is present and received therein, so is she 
present and received therein; that Priests are 
ministers as of Christ, so of Mary; that elect 
souls are born of God and Mary; that the Holy 
Ghost brings into fruitfulness his action by her, 
producing in her and by her Jesus Christ in His 
members ; that the kingdom of God in our souls, 
as our Lord speaks, is really the kingdom of Mary 
in the soul — and she and the Holy Ghost produce 
in the soul extraordinary things — and when the 
Holy Ghost finds Mary in a soul He flies there. 

Sentiments such as these I never knew of till I 
read your book, nor, as T think, do the vast majority 
of English Catholics know them. They seem to 
me like a bad dream. I could not have conceived 
them to be said. I know not to what authority to 
go for them, to Scripture, or to the Fathers, or to the 



120 EXPLANATIONS. 

decrees of Councils, or to the consent of schools, or 
to the tradition of the faithful, or to the Holy See, 
or to Reason. They defy all the loci theologici. 
There is nothing of them in the Missal, in the 
Roman Catechism, in the Roman RaccoUa, in the 
Imitation of Christ, in Gother, Challoner, Milner, 
or Wiseman, as far as I am aware. They do 
but scare and confuse me. I should not be holier, 
more spiritual, more sure of perseverance, if I 
twisted my moral being into the reception of them ; 
I should but be guilty of fulsome frigid flattery 
towards the most upright and noble of God's crea- 
tures, if I professed them, — and of stupid flattery 
too ; for it would be like the compliment of paint- 
ing up a young and beautiful princess with the 
brow of a Plato and the muscle of an Achilles. 
And I should expect her to tell one of her people 
in waiting to turn me off" her service without warn- 
ing. Whether thus to feel be the scandalum par- 
vulorum in my case, or the scandalum Pharisee- 
orum^ I leave others to decide; but I will say 
plainly that I had rather believe (which is impos- 
sible) that there is no God at all, than that Mary 
is greater than God. I will have nothing to do 
with statements, which can only be explained, 
by being explained away. I do not, however, 
speak of these statements, as they are found in 
their authors, for I know nothing of the originals, 
and cannot believe that they have meant what 
you say ; but I take them as they lie in your 



EXPLANATIONS. 121 

pages. Were any of them the sayings of Saints in 
ecstasy, I should know they had a good meaning; 
still I should not repeat them myself; but I am 
looking at them, not as spoken by the tongues of 
Ano^els, but accordinor to that literal sense which 
they bear in the mouths of English men and English 
women. And, as spoken by man to man, in Eng- 
land, in the nineteenth century, I consider them 
calculated to prejudice inquirers, to frighten the 
unlearned, to unsettle consciences, to provoke blas- 
phemy, and to work the loss of souls. 

9. And now, after having said so much as this, 
bear with me, my dear Friend, if I end with an ex- 
postulation. Have you not been touching us on a 
very tender point in a very rude way ? is not the 
effect of what you have said to expose her to scorn 
and obloquy, who is dearer to us than any other 
creature ? Have you even hinted that our love for 
her is any thing else than an abuse ? Have you 
thrown her one kind word yourself all through 
your book ? I trust so, but I have not lighted upon 
one. And yet I know you love her well. Can you 
wonder, then, — can I complain, much, much as I 
grieve, — that men should utterly misconceive of 
you, and are blind to the fact that you have put the 
whole argument between you and us on a new foot- 
ing; and that, whereas it was said twenty-five years 
ago in the British Critic, " Till Rome ceases to be 
what practically she is, union is impossible between 
her and England," you declare on the contrary, 



122 EXPLANATIONS. 

" Union is possible^ as soon as Italy and England, 
having the same faith and the same centre of unity, 
are allowed to hold severally their own theological 
opinions?" They have not done you justice here; 
because in truth, the honour of our Lady is dearer 
to them than the conversion of England. 

Take a parallel case, and consider how you would 
decide it yourself. Supposing an opponent of a 
doctrine for w^hich you so earnestly contend, the 
eternity of punishment, instead of meeting you 
with direct arguments against it, heaped together a 
number of extravagant descriptions of the place, 
mode and circumstances of its infliction, quoted 
Tertullian as a witness for the primitive Fathers, 
and the Covenanters and Ranters for these last 
centuries ; brought passages from the Inferno of 
Dante, and from the Sermons of Whitfield; nay, 
supposing he confined himself to the chapters on 
the subject in Jeremy Taylor's work on " The 
State of Man," would you think this a fair and 
becoming method of reasoning ? and, if he avowed 
that he should ever consider the Anglican Church 
committed to all these accessories of the doctrine, 
till its authorities formally denounced Taylor, and 
Whitfield, and a hundred others, would you think 
this an equitable determination, or the procedure 
of a theologian ? 



CONCLUSION. 123 



So far concerning the Blessed Virgin ; the chief 
but not the only subject of your Volume. And 
now, when I could wish to proceed, she seems to 
stop me, for the Feast of her Immaculate Concep- 
tion is upon us ; and close upon its Octave, which 
is kept with special solemnities in the Churches of 
this town, come the great Antiphons, the heralds of 
Christmas. That joyful season, joyful for all of us, 
while it centres in Him who then came on earth, 
also brings before us in peculiar prominence that 
Virgin Mother, who bore and nursed Him. Here 
she is not in the background, as at Easter-tide, but 
she brings Him to us in her arms. Two great 
Festivals, dedicated to her honour, to-morrow's and 
the Purification, mark out and keep the ground, 
and, like the towers of David, open the way to and 
fro, for the high holiday season of the Prince of 
Peace. And all along it her image is upon it, such 
as we see it in the typical representation of the 
Catacombs. May the sacred influences of this time 
bring us all together in unity ! May it destroy all 
bitterness on your side and ours ! May it quench 
all jealous, sour, proud, fierce antagonism on our 
side ; and dissipate all captious, carping, fastidious 
refinements of reasoning on yours! May that 
bright and gentle Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, 



124 CONCLUSION. 

overcome you with her sweetness, and revenge her- 
self on her foes by interceding eflfectually for their 
conversion ! 

I am, 

Yours, most affectionately, 

JOHN H. NEWMAN. 

The Ora.toet, Birmingham, 
Infest. S. Amhrosii, 1865. 



NOTES. 



NOTE A. PAGE 36. 

1. St. Justin: — Ylbv ®eov yeypafifxevov airbv iv tol? airofivrifio- 
vevfiaai twv airocTToXwv avrov e^oircs, Kai vlov avTov Aeyovres, 
V€VorfKayL€V, koX irpb TrdvTwv TroLrjfidTwv oltto tov Trarpos Swa/Act avrov 
Kol /3ovXr] TrpoeXOovra .... koL 8ta t-)}s ivapOivov ai/^p(i)7ros[ov] 
ycyoveVai, iva koX 8t' i^s ooou 17 ctTro tov ocftew; irapaKorj T-qv OLp^rjv 
tXa^e, Koi 8ta TavTr]<s rrj<; bSov Koi KaTaXvatv Xd/3y irapOevos yap 
ovcra Eva koi dcjiOopo'; tov Xoyov tov ciTro tov Screws crvXXafiovaa, 
7rapaK07]v Kal OdvaTOV eTCKe* ttlcttlv 8e Kat ^apav Xa^ovaa Mapta t) 
Trap6evo<;, evayytXitpiiivov avrfj Taj3ptrjX dyyiXov, on Elvev/xa JLvpiov 

Itt avTrjv iireXevareTai, &c aTreKptvaTO, TiVOiTO fiot Kara to 

prjixd a-ov. — Tryph. 100. 

2. Tertullian : — " Ne mihi vacet incursus nominis Adse, unde 
Christus Adam ab Apostolo dictus est, si terreni non fuit 
census homo ejus ? Sed et hie ratio defendit, quod Deus 
imaginem et similitudinem suam a diabolo captam semula opera- 
tione recuperavit. In virginem enim adhuc Evam irrepserat 
verbum aedificatorium mortis. In virginem aeque introduceudum 
erat Dei verbum extructorium vitse; ut quod per ejusmodi 
sexum abierat in perditionem, per eundem seium redigeretur 
in salutem. Crediderat Eva serpenti ; credidit Maria Gabrieli ; 
quod ilia credendo deliquit, hsec credendo delevit." — De Cam. 
Chr. 17. 

3. St. Irenseus: — " Consequenter autem et Maria virgo 
obediens invenitur, dicens, ecce ancilla tua, Domine, fiat mihi 
secundum verbum tuum. Eva vero inobediens : non obedivit 



126 NOTES. 

enim, adhuc quum essefc virgo. Quemadmodum ilia, virum 
quidem habens Adam, virgo tamen adhuc existens (erant enim 
utrique nudi in Paradise, et non confundebantur, quoniam, 
pauUo ante facti, non intellectum habebant filiorum genera- 
tionis; oportebat enim illos prirao adolescere, debinc sic multi- 
plicari), inobediens facta, et sibi et universo generi humano 
causa facta est mortis : sic et Maria, habens prajdestinatum 
virum, et tamen virgo, obediens, et sibi et universo generi 
humano causa facta est salutis. Et propter hoc Lex earn, quae 
desponsata erat viro, licet virgo sit adhuc, uxorem ejus, qui 
desponsaverat, vocat ; eam quae est a Maria in Evam recircu- 
lationem significans : quia non aliter quod colligatum est sol- 
veretur, nisiipsse compagines alligationis reflectanturretrorsus ; 
ut prima? conjunctiones solvantur per secundas, secundaj rursus 
liberent primas. Et evenit primam quidem compaginera a 
secunda colligatione solvere, secundam vero coUigationem primas 
solutionis habere locum. Et propter hoc Dominus dicebat, 
primes quidem novissimos futures, et nevissimos primes. Et 
propheta autem hoc idem significat, dicens, ' Pro patribus nati 
sunt tibi filii.' ' Primogenitus ' enim ' mortuorum ' natus Domi- 
nus, et in sinum suum recipiens pristinos patres, regeneravit 
eos in vitam Dei, ipse initium viventium factus, quoniam Adam 
initium morientium factus est. Propter hoc et Lucas initium 
generationis a Domino inchoans, in Adam retulit, significans, 
quoniam non illi hunc, sed hie illos in Evangelium vitse regene- 
ravit. Sic autem et Eva) inobedientiae nodus solutionem accepit 
per obedientiam Mariae. Quod enim alligavit virgo Eva per 
incredulitatem, hoc virgo Maria solvit per fidem." — S. Iren. 
contr. S(Br. iii. 22. 

" Quemadmodum enim ilia per Angeli sermenem seducta est, 
ut effugeret Deum, pracvaricata verbum ejus ; ita et haec per 
Angelicum sermonem evangelizata est, ut pertaret Deum, 
obediens ejus verbo. Et si ea inobedierat Dee ; sed haec suasa 
est obedire Deo, uti Virginis Evae Virgo Maria fieret advocata. 
Et quemadmodum adstrictum est morti genus humanum per 
Virginem, salvatur per Virginem, osqua lance disposita, virginalis 
inebedientia, per virginalera obedientiam." — Ihid. v, 19. 

4. St. Cyril : — Ata irapOivov r^s Ems rjXdev 6 Odvaro';, ISet 8ia 
trapOevov, ixaXXov 8e ck TrapOevov, cftavtjvai rrjv ^w^v Lva w<nr€p 



NOTES. 127 

€K€Lvr]V o^ts rjTru.Tr](T€V, OUTO) Koi TavTTjv Ta^ptrjX eiayycXt'crr/Tai. — 
Cat. xii. 15. 

5. St. Epbrem. : — " Per Evam nempe decora et amabilis 
liominis gloria extiucta est, quae tamen rursus per Mariam 
refloruit." — Opp. Syr. ii. p. 318. 

" Initio protoparentum delicto in omnes homines mors per- 
transiit ; hodie vero per Mariam translati sumus de morte ad 
vifcam. Initio serpens, Evsb auribus occupatis, inde virus in 
totum corpus dilatavit ; bodie Maria ex auribus perpetuae feli- 
citatis assertorem excepit. Quod ergo mortis fuit, simul et 
vitse extitit instrumentum." — iii. p. 607. 

6. St. Epiphaniits : — Autt) iarlv rj Trapa [xkv rfj Eba cnjfiatvofiivr) 
Si aiviyjaaros Xaj^ovcra to /caAetcr^ai jJ-riTrjp ^wvtmv. • . . koX ^v 
OavjjLa OTL fiera ttjv vapafiacnv Tavrrjv rrjv iMeydXrjv ctr^cv iirwwfiLav. 
Kal Kara fjikv to aladr^rhv, oltt e/cctVjjs t^s Ems Trao-a tcov dvOpwiroyu 
■fj y€vvr]cn<i eVt yrjs yeyewrjTaL' wSe 8e dXrjOCj'i a7ro Maptas avrrj rj ^wrj 
T(3 Koo-jno) yeyewrjTaf tva ^tuvTa yewrjirr}, Koi yewqTat rj Mapia jn^rrjp 
^wvTwv St' alviyjiaTO^ ovv rj Mapt'a JJ-rjTrjp t,(iiVTwv KeKXrjrai . . . 
dXXa KOL enpov irepl tovtwv Stavoeto-^at icm OavjJLao-TOV, Trcpt Se r^s 
Euas KOL t^s Maptas* r] ftev yap Em ■7rp6<f>a(TL<s yeyevvrjrat Oavdrov 
TOis av6pwTrot<;' . . . rj Bk Mapt'a 7rpo^ao"ts ^oj^s . . . iva ^wrj dvrl 
Oavdrov yevvrjTai, iKKXeiaaara tov Odvarov tov e/c yi'vaiKos, ttoAiv o 
Sitt yrj/atKOs 17/1.11' ^w^ yeyevvr]fievo<s. — JEEcer. V8. IS. 

7. St. Jerome : — " Postquam vero Virgo concepit in utero, 
et peperit nobis puerum . . . soluta maledictio est. Mors per 
Evam, vita per Mariam." — Ep. 22, ad EustocJiium, 21. 

8. St. Augustine: — "Hucaccedit magnum sacramentum, ut, 
quoniam per feminam nobis mors acciderat, vita nobis per 
feminam nasceretur : ut de utraque natura, id est, feminina et 
masculina, victus diabolus cruciaretur, quoniam de ambarum 
subversione laetabatur, cui parum fuerat ad poenam si amba) 
naturaD in nobis liberarentur, nisietiara per ambas liberaremur." 
— Be Agone Christ. 24. 

9. St. Peter Chrysologus :— "Benedicta tu in mulieribus. 
Quia in quibus Eva maledicta puniebat viscera ; tunc in illis 
gaudet, honoratur, suspicitur Maria benedicta. Et facta est 
vere nunc mater viventium per gratiam qus9 mater extitit mori- 
entium per naturam. . . . Quantus sit Deus satis ignorat ille, 
qui hujus Virginis mentem non stupet, animum non miratur : 



128 NOTES. 

pavet coelum, tremunt Angeli, creatura non sustluet, natura 
non sufficit, et una puella sic Deum in sui pectoris capit, 
recipit, oblectat hospitio, ut pacem terris, coelis gloriam, salutem 
perditis, vitam mortuis, terrenis cum coelestibus parentelam, 
ipsius Dei cum carne commercium, pro ipsa domus exigat 
pensione, pro ipsius uteri mercede conquirat, et impleat illud 
Prophetae : Eece haereditas Domini, filii merces fructus ventris. 
Sed jam se concludat sermo ut de partu Virginis, donante Deo, 
et indulgente tempore, gratius proloquamur," — Serm. 140. 

10. St. Fulgentius : — "In primi hominis conjuge, nequitia 
diaboli seductam depravavit mentera : in secundi autem hominis 
matre, gratia Dei, et mentem integram servavit, et carnem : 
menti contulit firmissimam fidem, carni abstulit omnino libi- 
dinem. Quoniam igitur miserabiliter pro peccato damnatus 
est homo, ideo sine peccato mirabiliter natus estDeus homo." — 
Serm. ii. 

" Venite, virgines, ad virginera ; venite, concipientes, ad con- 
cipientem ; venite, parturientes, ad parturientem ; venite, 
matres, ad matrem ; venite, lactantes, ad lactantem ; venite, 
juvenculae, ad juvenculam. Ideo omnes istos cursus naturae 
virgo Maria in Domino nostro Jesu Christo suscepit, ut 
omnibus ad se confugientibus foeminis subveniret, et sic 
restauraret omne genus foeminarum ad se advenientium nova 
Eva servando virginitatera, sicut omne genus virorum Adam 
novus recuperat dominus Jesus Christus." — Ibid. iii. 



NOTES. 129 



NOTE B. PAGE 49. 

Abridged from* Suarez. 0pp. t. 17, p. 7 — Ed. Venet. 
1746 :— 

"1, Statuendum est B. Virginem fuisse a Christo redemp- 
tam, quia Christus fuit universalis redemptor totius generis 
humani, et pro omnibus hominibus mortuus est." — p. 15. 

" 2. Praeterea constat indiguisse Virginem redemptione, quia 
nimirum descendebat ex Adamo per seminalem generationem." 
-p. 7. 

" 3. Tanquam certum statuendum est, B. Virginem procrea- 
tara esse ex viri et fceminse commixtione carnali, ad modum 
aliorum hominura, Habetur certa traditione et communi con- 
sensu totius EcclesisB." — p. 7, 

" 4. Absolute et simpliciter fatendum B. Virginem in Adam 
peccasse." — p. 16. 

"5. B. Virgo peccavit in Adamo, ex quo tanquam ex radice 
infecta per seminalem rationem est orta ; hsec est tota ratio 
contrahendi originale peccatum, quod est ex vi conceptionis, 
nisi gratia Dei praeveniat." — p. 16. 

" 6. Certum est B. Virginem fuisse mortuam saltem in 
Adamo. Sicut in Christo vitam habuit, ita et in Adam fuit 
mortua. Alias B. Virgo non contraxisset mortem aliasve 
corporis poenalitates ex Adamo ; consequens [autem] est omnino 
falsum. Habuit B. Virgo meritum mortis saltem in Adamo. 
Ilia vera habuit mortem carnis ex peccato Adami contractam." 
—p. 16. 

" 7. B. Virgo, ex vi suae conceptionis fuit obnoxia originali 
peccato, seu debitum habuit contrahendi illud, nisi divina 
gratia fuisset impeditum." — p. 16. 

" 8. Si B. Virgo non fuisset (ut ita dicam) vendita in Adamo, 
et de se servituti peccati obnoxia, non fuisset vere redempta." 
— p, 16. 

" 9. Dicendum est, potuisse B. Virginem prseservari ab ori- 

I 



130 NOTES. 

ginali peccato, ct in primo suae conceptionis insfcanti sancti- 
ficari."— p. 17. 

" 10. Potuit B. Virgo ex vi suso originis esse obnoxia culpse, 
et ideo indigere redemptione, et niliilominus in eodem mo- 
mentOjinquo erat obnoxia, prasveniri, ne illam contraheret." — 
p. 14. 

" 11. Dicendum B. Virginem in ipso primo instanti concep- 
tionis suae fuisse sanctificatani, et ab originali peccato prse- 
servatam." — p. 19. 

" 12. Carnem Virginis fuisse carnem peccati . . . verura est, 
non quia ilia caro aliquando fuit subdita peccato, aut informata 
anima carente gratia, sed quia fuit mortalis et passibilis ex 
debito peccati, cui de se erat obnoxia, si per Christi gratiam 
non fuisset prgeservata." — p. 22. 

" 13. Quod B. Virgo de se fuerit obnoxia peccato, (si illud 
revera nunquam habuit,) non derogat perfectas ejus sanctitati 
et puritati."— pp. 16, 17. 

Cornelius a Lapide, Comment, in Ep. ad Eom. v. 12 : — 

"The Blessed Virgin sinned in Adam, and incurred this 
necessity of contracting original sin ; but original sin itself she 
did not contract in berself in fact, nor had it ; for she was anti- 
cipated by the grace of Grod, which excluded all sin from her, in 
the first moment of her conception." 

In 2 Ep. ad Corinth, v. 15 :— 

"All died, namely in Adam, for in him all contracted the 
necessity of sin and death, even the Deipara ; so that both her- 
self and man altogether needed Christ as a Eedeemer and His 
death. Therefore the Blessed Virgin sinned and died in Adam, 
but in her own person she contracted not sin and the death of 
the soul, for she was anticipated by God and God's grace." 



NOTES. 131 



NOTE C. PAGE 53. 

I have allowed that several great Fathers of the Church, of 
the fourth and fifth centuries, speak of the Blessed Virgin in 
terms, which we never should think of using now, and which at 
first sight are inconsistent with the belief and sentiment con- 
cerning her, which I have ascribed to their times. These 
Fathers are St. Basil, St. Chrysostom, and St. Cyril of Alex- 
andria ; and the occasion of their so speaking is furnished by 
certain passages of Scripture, on which they are commenting. 
It may in consequence be asked of me, why I do not take these 
three, instead of St. Justin, St. Irenasus, and Tertullian, as my 
authoritative basis for determining the doctrine of the primitive 
times concerning the Blessed Mary : why, instead of making 
St. Irenffius, &c. the rule, and St. Basil, &c. the exception, I do 
not make the earlier Fathers the exception, and the later the 
rule. Since I do not, it may bo urged against me that I am 
but making a case for my own opinion, and playing the part of 
an advocate. 

Now I do not see that it would be illogical or nugatory, 
though I did nothing more than make a case ; indeed I have 
worded myself in my Letter as if I wished to do little more. 
For as much as this is surely to the purpose, considering the 
majority of Anglicans have a supreme confidence that no case 
whatever can be made in behalf of our doctrine concerning 
the Blessed Virgin from the ancient Fathers. I should have 
gained a real point, if I did any thing to destroy this imagina- 
tion ; but I intend to attempt something more than this. I 
shall attempt to invalidate the only grounds on which any 
teaching contrary to the Catholic can be founded on Autiquitr. 

I 2 



182 NOTES. 

I. First I set down the'passages which create the difficulty, as 
they are found in the great work of Petavius, a theologian too 
candid and fearless, to put out of sight or explain away adverse 
facts, from fear of scandal, or from the expedience of con- 
troversy. 

1. St. Basil then writes thus, in his 260th Epistle, addressed 
to Optimus : — 

" [Symeon] uses the word ' sword,' meaning the word which 
is tentative and critical of the thoughts, and reaches unto the 
separation of soul and spirit, of the joints and marrow. Since 
then every soul, at the time of the Passion, was subjected in a 
way to some unsettlement (StaKpto-et) , according to the Lord's 
word, who said, ' All ye shall be scandalized in Me,' Symeon 
prophesies even of Mary herself, that, standing by the Cross, 
and seeing what was doing, and hearing the words, after the 
testimony of Gabriel, after the secret knowledge of the divine 
conception, after the great manifestation of miracles, Thou wilt 
experience, he says, a certain tossing (o-aXos) of thy soul. Por 
it beseemed the Lord to taste death for every one, and to 
become a propitiation of the world, in order to justify all in His 
blood. And thee thyself who hast been taught from above the 
things concerning the Lord, some unsettlemeiTt (StaKpio-t?) will 
reach. This is the sword ; ' that out of many hearts thoughts 
may be revealed.' He obscurely signifies, that, after the scan- 
dalizing which took place upon the Cross of Christ, both to the 
disciples and to Mary herself, some quick healing should follow 
upon it from the Lord, confirming their heart unto faith in 
Him." 

2. St. Chrysostom, in Matth. Horn. iv. : — 

" ' Wherefore,' a man may say, ' did not the angel do in the 
case of the Virgin, [what he did to Joseph ? ' " viz. appear to 
her after, not before, the Incarnation,] " ' why did he not bring 
her the good tidings after her conception ? ' lest she should 
be in great disturbance and trouble. For the probability 
was, that, had she not known the clear fact, she would have 
resolved something strange (aroTrov) about herself, and had 
recourse to rope or sword, not bearing the disgrace. Por the 
Virgin was admirable, and Luke shows her virtue, when he 
says that, when she heard the salutation, she did not at once 



NOTES. 133 

become extravagant, nor appropriated the words, but was 
troubled, searching what was the nature of the salutation. 
One then of so accurately formed a mind (SL-rjKpL^wfjiivr]) would 
be made beside herself with despondency, considering the dis- 
grace, and not expecting, whatever she may say, to persuade 
any one who hears her, that adultery had not been the fact. 
Lest then these things occur, the Angel came before the con- 
ception; for it beseemed that that womb should be without 
disorder, which the Creator of all entered, and that that soul 
should be rid of all perturbation, which was counted worthy to 
become the minister of such mysteries." 

In Matth. Horn. xliv. (vid. also in Joann. Horn, xxi.) : — 
" To-day we learn something else even further, viz., that not 
even to bear Christ in the womb, and to have that wonderful 
childbirth, has any gain, without virtue. And this is especially 
true from this passage, ' As He was yet speaking to the multi- 
tude, behold His Mother and His brethren stood without, 
seeking to speak to Him,' &c. This he said, not as ashamed of 
His Mother, nor as denying her who bore Him ; for, had He 
been ashamed. He had not passed through that womb ; but as 
showing that there was no profit to her thence, unless she did 
all that was necessary. For what she attempted, came of over- 
much love of honour; for she wished to show to the people 
that she had power and authority over her Son, in nothing ever 
as yet having been greatly ostentatious {<^avTat,o^iv7}) about 
Him. Therefore she came thus unseasonably. Observe then 
her and their recklessness (aTro^otav). . . . Had He wished to 
deny His Mother, then He would have denied, when the Jews 
taunted Him with her. But no ; He shows such care of her 
as to commit her as a legacy on the Cross itself to the disciple 
whom He loved best of all, and to take anxious oversight of 
her. But does He not do the same now, by caring for her and 
His brethren ? . . . And consider, not only the words which 
convey the considerate rebuke, but also . . . who He is who 
utters it, . . . and what He aims at in uttering it, not, that is, 
ns wishing to cast her into perplexity, but to release her from 
a most tyrannical affection, and to bring her gradually to the 
fitting thought concerning Him, and to persuade her that He 
is not only her Son, but also her Master." 



134 NOTES. 

3. St. Cyril, in Joann. lib. sii.: — 

" How shall we explain this passage ? He introduces both 
His Mother and the other women with her standing at the 
Cross, and, as is plain, weeping. For somehow the race of 
women is ever fond of tears ; and especially given to laments, 
when it has rich occasions for weeping. How then did they 
persuade the blessed Evangelist to be so minute in his account, 
so as to make mention of this abidance of the women ? For 
it was his purpose to teach even this, viz., that probably even 
the Mother of the Lord herself was scandalized at the unex- 
pected Passion, and that the death iipon the Cross, being so 
very bitter, was near unsettling her from her fitting mind; 
and in addition to this, the moclcer'es of the Jews, and the 
soldiers too, perhaps, wlio were sitting near the Cross and 
making a jest of Him who was hanging on it, and daring, in 
the sight of His very mother, the division of His garments. 
Doubt not that she received {da-eSeiaro) some such thoughts as 
these : — I bore Him who is laughed at on the wood ; but, in 
saying He was the true Son of the Omnipotent G-od, perhaps 
somehow He was mistaken. He said He was the Life, how 
then has He been crucified ? how has He been strangled by the 
cords of His murderers ? how prevailed He not over the plot 
of His persecutors? why descends He not from the Cross, 
though He bade Lazarus to return to life, and amazed all 
Judaja with His miracles ? And it is very natural that a 
woman (to yvvatov, woman's nature), not knowing the mystery, 
should slide into some such trains of thought. For we should 
understand, if we do well, that the gravity of the circumstances 
was enough to overturn even a self-possessed mind ; it is no 
wonder then if a woman (jb yvvaLov) slipped into this reasoning. 
For if he himself, the chosen one of the holy disciples, Peter, 
once was scandalized, ... so as to cry out hastily. Be it far 
from Thee, Lord. . . . what paradox is it, if the soft mind of 
womankind was carried off to weak ideas ? And this we say, 
not idly conjecturing, as it may strike one, but entertaining 
the suspicion from what is written concerning the Mother 
of the Lord. For we remember that Simeon the Just, when 
he received the Lord as a little child into his arms, . . . said 
to her, ' A Kword shall go through thine own soul, that out of 



NOTES. 135 

many hearts thoughts may be revealed.' By sword he meant 
the sharp access of suffering cutting down a woman's mind 
into extravagant thoughts. Por temptations test the hearts 
of those who suffer them, and make bare the thoughts which 
are in them." 

Now what do these three Fathers say in these passages ? 

1. St. Basil imputes to the Blessed Virgin, not only doubt, 
but the sin of doubt. On the other hand, 1. he imputes it only 
on one occasion; 2. he does not consider it to be a grave sin; 
3. he implies that, in point of spiritual perfection, she is above 
the Apostles. 

2. St. Chrysostom, in his first passage, does not impute sin to 
her at all. He says God so disposed things for her as to shield 
her from the chance of sinning ; that she was too admirable to 
be allowed to be betrayed by her best and purest feelings into 
sin. All that is implied in a spirit repugnant to a Catholic's 
reverence for her, is, that her woman's nature, viewed in itself 
and apart from the watchful providence of God's grace over her, 
would not have had strength to resist a hypothetical temptation, 
— a position which a Catholic will not care to affirm or deny, 
though he will feel great displeasure at having to discuss it at all. 
This too at least is distinctly brought out in the passage, viz., 
that in St. Chrysostom's mind, our Lady was not a mere 
physical instrument of the Incarnation, but that her soul, as 
well as her body, " ministered to the mystery," and needed to 
be duly prepared for it. 

As to his second most extraordinary passage, I should not be 
candid, unless I simply aduiitted that it is as much at variance 
with what we hold, as it is solitary and singular in the writings 
of Antiquity. The Saint distinctly and {pace illius) needlessly, 
imputes to the Blessed Virgin, on the occasion in question, the 
sin or infirmity of vain-glory. He has a parallel passage in 
commenting on the miracle at the Marriage-feast. All that 
can be said to alleviate the startling character of these passages 
is, that it does not appear that St. Chrysostom would account 
such vain-glory in a woman any great sin. 

3. Lastly, as to St. Cyril, I do not see that he declares that 
Mary actually doubted at the Crucifixion, but tliat, considering 



136 2J0TES. 

she was a woman, it is likely slie was tempted to doubt, and 
nearly doubted. Moreover, St. Cyril does not seem to consider 
such doubt, had it occurred, as any great sin. 

Thus on the whole, all three Fathers, St. Basil and St. Cyril 
explicitly, and St. Chrysostom by implication, consider that on 
occasions she was, or might be, exposed to violent temptation 
to doubt ; but two Fathers consider that she actually did sin, 
though she sinned lightly ; — the sin being doubt, and on one 
occasion, according to St. Basil ; and on two occasions, the sin 
being vain-glory, according to St. Chrysostom. 

However, the strong language of these Fathers is not directed 
against our Lady's person, so much as against her nature. They 
seem to have participated with Ambrose, Jerome, and other 
Fathers in that low estimation of woman's nature which was gene- 
ral in their times. In the broad imperial world, the conception en- 
tertained of womankind was not high ; it seemed only to perpe- 
tuate the poetical tradition of the " Varium et mutabile semper." 
Little was then known of that true nobility, which is exempli- 
fied in the females of the Gothic and German races, and in those 
of the old Jewish stock, Miriam, Deborah, Judith, Susanna, the 
forerunners of Mary. When then St. Chrysostom imputes vain- 
glory to her, he is not imputing to her any thing worse than 
an infirmity, the infirmity of a nature, inferior to man's, and 
intrinsically feeble ; as though the Almighty could have created 
a more excellent being than Mary, but could not have made a 
greater woman. Accordingly Chrysostom does not say that she 
sinned. He does not deny that she had all the perfections 
which woman could have ; but he seems to have thought the 
capabilities of her nature were bounded, so that the utmost 
grace bestowed upon it could not raise it above that standard 
of perfection in which its elements resulted, and that to at- 
tempt more, would have been to injure, not benefit it. Of course 
I am not stating this as brought out in any part of his writings, 
but it seems to me to be the real sentiment of many of the 
ancients. 

I will add that such a belief on the part of these Fathers, 
that the Blessed Virgin had committed a sin or a weakness, was 
not in itself inconsistent with the exercise of love and devo- 
tion to her (though I am not pretending that there is proof of 



NOTES. 137 

its actual existence) ; and for this simple reason, that if sinless- 
ness were a condition of inspiring devotion, we shoiild not feel 
devotion to any but our Lady, not to St. Joseph, or to tiie 
Apostles, or to our Patron Saints. 

Such then is the teaching of these three Fathers ; now how 
far is it in antagonism to ours. On the one hand, we will not 
allow that our Blessed Lady ever sinned ; we cannot bear the 
notion, entering, as we do, into the full spirit of St. Augus- 
tine's words, " Concerning the Holy Virgin Mary, I wish no 
question to be raised at all, when we are treating of sins." Ou 
the other hand, we admit, rather we maintain, that, except for 
the grace of God, she might have sinned ; and that she may 
have been exposed to temptation in the sense in which our 
Lord was exposed to it, though as His Divine Nature made it 
impossible for Him to yield to it, so His grace preserved her 
from its assaults also. While then we do not hold that St. 
Simeon prophesied of temptation, when he said a sword would 
pierce her, still, if any one likes to say he did, we do not con- 
sider him heretical, provided he does not impute to her any 
sinful or inordinate emotion as the consequence to it. In this 
way St. Cyril may be let off altogether; and we have only to 
treat of the paradoxa or anomala of those great Saints, St. Basil 
and St. Chrysostom. I proceed to their controversial value. 

II. I mean, that having determined what the Three Fathers 
say, and how far they are at issue with what Catholics hold now, 
I now come to the main question, viz. AVhat is the authoritative 
force in controversy of what they thus say in opposition to 
Catholic teaching ? I think I shall be able to show that it has 
no controversial force at all. 

I begin by observing, that the main force of passages which 
can be brought from any Father or Fathers in controversy, lies 
in the fact that such passages represent the judgment or senti- 
ment of their own respective countries ; and again, I say that 
the force of that local judgment or sentiment lies in its being 
the existing expression of an Apostolical tradition. I am far, of 
course, from denying the claim of tlie teacliing of a Father on 
our deforouce, arising out of his personal position and character ; 



138 NOTES. 

or the claims of the mere sentiments of a Christian popula- 
tion on our careful attention, as a fact carrying with it, under 
circumstances, especial weight ; but, in a question of doctrine, 
we must have recourse to the great source of doctrine, Aposto- 
lical Tradition, and a Father must represent his own people, and 
that people must be the witnesses of an uninterrupted Tradi- 
tion from tlie Apostles, if any thing decisive is to come of any 
theological statement which is found in his writings ; and if, in 
a particular case, there is no reason to suppose that he does 
echo the popular voice, or that that popular voice is transmitted 
from Apostolic times, — or (to take another channel of Tradition) 
unless the Father in question receives and reports his doctrine 
from the Bishops and Priests who instructed him on the very 
understanding and profession that it is Apostolical, — then, 
though it was not one Father but ten who said a thing, it would 
weigh nothing against the assertion of only one Father to the 
contrary, provided it was clear that that Father witnessed to an 
Apostolical Tradition. Now I do not say that I can decide the 
question by this issue with all the exactness which is conceiv- 
able, but still this is tlie issue by which it must be tried, and 
which I think will enable me to come to a satisfactory conclu- 
sion upon it. 

Such, I say, being the issue, viz., that a doctrine reported by 
the Fathers, in order to have dogmatic force, must be a Tra- 
dition in its source ovform, next, what is a Tradition, considered 
in its matter ? It is a belief, which, be it affirmative or negative, 
\b positive. The mere absence of a tradition in a country, is 
not a tradition the other way. If, for instance, there was no 
tradition in Syria and Asia Minor that the words " consub- 
stantial with the Father," came from the Apostles, that would 
not be a tradition that they did not come from the Apostles, 
though of course it would be necessary for those who said that 
they did, to account for the ignorance of those countries as to 
the real fact. 

The proposition *' Christ is God," serves as an example of what 
I mean by an affirmative tradition ; and " no one born of woman 
is born in God's fwour," is an example of a negative tradi- 
tion. Here it is observable that a tradition does not carry 
its own full explanation with it ; it does but land (so to say) 



NOTES. 139 

a proposition at the feet of the Apostles, and its interpretation 
has still to be determined, — as the Apostles' words in Scripture, 
however much theirs, need an interpretation. Thus I may 
accept the above negative Tradition, that " no one woman-born 
is born in God's favour," yet question its strict universality, as 
a point of criticism, saying that a general proposition admits 
of exceptions, that our Lord was born of woman, yet was 
the sinless and acceptable Priest and sacrifice for all men. So 
again the Arians allowed that " Christ was God," but they 
disputed about the meaning of the word " God." 

Further, there are explicit traditions and implicit. By an 
explicit tradition I mean a doctrine which is conveyed in the 
letter of the proposition which has been handed down ; and by 
implicit, one which lies in the force and virtue, not in the letter 
of the proposition. Thus it might be an Apostolical tradition 
that our Lord was the tery Son of God, of one nature with the 
Pather, and in all things equal to Him ; and again a tradition 
that there was but one God : these would be explicit, but in 
them would necessarily be conveyed, moreover, the implicit 
tradition, that the Father and the Son were numerically one. 
Implicit traditions are positive traditions, as being strictly 
conveyed in positive. 

Lastly, there are at least two ways of determining an Apo- 
stolical tradition : — 1. "When credible witnesses declare that it 
is Apostolical; as when three hundred Fathers at Nicsea 
stopped their ears at Arius's blasphemies; 2. "When, in various 
places, independent witnesses enunciate one and the same 
doctrine, as St. Irena^us, St. Cyprian, and Eusebius assert, that 
the Apostles founded a Church, Catholic and One. 

Now to apply these principles to the particular case, on 
account of which I have laid them down. 

That " Mary is the new Eve," is a proposition answering to 
the idea of a Tradition. I am not prepared to say that it can 
be shown to have the first of the above two tests of its Apo- 
stolicity, viz., that tlie writers who record it, profess to have 
received it from the Apostles ; but I conceive it has the second 
test, viz., that the writers are independent witnesses, as I have 
shown at length in the course of my Letter. 



140 NOTES. 

It is an exi)liclt tradition ; and by the force of it follow two 
others, which are iaiplicit : — first (considering the condition of 
Eve in paradise), that Mary had no part in sin, and indefinitely 
large measures of grace ; secondly (considering the doctrine of 
merits), that she has been exalted to glory proportionate to 
that grace. 

This is what I have to observe on the argument in behalf of 
the Blessed Virgin. St. Justin, St. Irenseus, Tertullian, are 
witnesses of an Apostolical tradition, because in three distinct 
parts of the world they enunciate one and the same definite 
doctrine. And it is remarkable that they witness just for those 
three seats of Catholic teaching, where the truth in this matter 
was likely to be especially lodged. St. Justin speaks for Jeru- 
salem, the see of St, James; St. Irenajus for Ephesus, the 
dwelling-place, the place of burial, of St. John ; and Tertullian, 
who made a long residence at Eome, fol* the city of St. Peter 
and St. Paul. 

Now, let us inquire, what can be produced on the other side, 
parallel to an argument like this ? A tradition in its matter is 
a positive statement of belief; in its form it is a statement 
which comes from the Apostles : now, first, what statement of 
belief at all is witnessed to by St. Basil, St. Chrysostora, and 
St. Cyril ? I cannot find any. They do but interpret certain 
passages in the Gospels to our Lady's disadvantage ; is an in- 
terpretation a distinct statement of belief ? but they do not all 
interpret the same passages. Nor do they agree together in their 
interpretation of those passages which one or other of them 
interprets so unsatisfactorily ; for, while St. Chrysostom holds 
that our Lord spoke in correction of His mother at the wedding 
feast, St. Cyril on the contrary says that He wrought the 
miracle then, which He was Himself unwilling to work, in order 
to show "reverence to His Mother," and that she "having 
great authority for the working of the miracle, got the victory, 
persuading the Lord, as being her Son, as was fitting." But, 
taking only the statements which are in her disparagement, can 
we generalize them into one proposition ? Shall we make it such 
as this, viz., " The Blessed Virgin during her earthly life com- 
mitted actual sinr" If we mean by this, that there was a 



NOTES. 141 

positive recognition of such a proposition in the country of St, 
Basil or St. Chrysostora, this surely is not to be gathered merely 
from their separate and independent comments on Scripture. 
All that can be gathered thence legitimately is, that, had there 
been a positive belief in her sinlessness in those countries, 
the Fathers in question would not have spoken of her in the 
terms which they have used ; in other words, that there was 
no belief in her sinlessness then and there ; but the absence 
of a belief is not a belief to the contrary, it is not that posi- 
tive statement, which, as I have said, is required for the 
matter of a tradition. 

Nor do the passages which I have quoted from these Fathers 
supply us with any tradition, viewed in its form, that is, as a 
statement which has come down from the Apostles. I have sug- 
gested two tests of such a statement : — one, when the writers 
who make it so declare that it was from the Apostles ; and the 
other when, being independent of one another, they bear wit- 
ness to one positive statement of doctrine. Neither test is 
fulfilled in this case. The three Fathers of the 4th and 5th 
centuries are but commenting on Scripture; and comments, 
though carrying with them of course, and betokening the tone of 
thought of the place and time to which they belong, are, prima 
facie of a private and personal character. If they are more 
than this, the onus prohandi lies with those who would have it 
so. Exegetical theology is one department of divine science, and 
dogmatic is another. On the other hand, the three Fathers of 
the 2nd century are all writing on dogmatic subjects, when 
they compare Mary to Eve. 

Now to take the Three later Fathers one by one : — 

1. As to St. Cjrril, as I liave said, he does not, strictly speak- 
ing, say more than that our Lady was grievously tempted. 
This does not imply sin, for our Lord was " tempted in all things 
like as we are, yet without sin." Moreover, it is this St. Cyril 
who spoke at Ephesus of the Blessed Virgin in terms of such 
high panegyric, as to make it more consistent in him to sup- 
pose that she was sinless, than that she was not. 

2. St. Basil derived his notion, that the Blessed Virgin at 
the time of the Passion admitted a doubt about our Lord's 
mission, from Origen ; and he, so far from professing to rest it 



142 NOTES. 

on Tradition, draws it as a theological conclusion from a re- 
ceived doctrine. Origen's characteristic fault was to prefer 
scientific reasonings to authority ; and he exemplifies it in the 
case before us. In the middle age, the great obstacle to the 
reception of the doctrine of the Blessed Mary's immaculate con- 
ception, was the notion that, unless she had been in some sense 
a. sinner, she could not have been redeemed. By an argument 
parallel to this, Origen argues, that since she was one of the 
redeemed, she must at one time or another have committed 
a sin. Ho says : " Are we to think, tliat tlie Apostles were 
scandalized, and not the Lord's Mother ? If she suffered not 
scandal at our Lord's passion, then Jesus died not for her sins. 
If all have sinned and need the glory of God, being justified by 
His grace, and redeemed, certainly Mary at that time was 
scandalized." This is precisely the argument of Basil, as 
contained in the passage given above ; his statement then of 
the Blessed Virgin's wavering in faith, instead of professing 
to be a tradition, carries with it an avowal of its being none 
at all. 

However, I am not unwilling to grant that, whereas Scripture 
tells us that all wei'e scandalized at our Lord's passion, there 
was some sort of traditional interpretation of Simeon's words, 
to the effect that she was in some sense included in that trial. 
How near the Apostolic era the tradition arose, cannot be deter- 
mined ; but this need not include the idea of sin in the Blessed 
Virgin, but only the presence of temptation and darkness of 
spirit. This tradition, whatever its authority, would be easily 
perverted, so as actually to impute sin to her, by such reason- 
ings as that of Oi-igen. Origen himself, in the passage I have 
quoted from him, refers to the sword of Simeon, and is the first 
to do so. St. Cyril, who, though an Alexandrian as well as 
Origen, represents a very difierent school of theology, has, as 
we have seen, the same interpretation for the piercing sword. 
It is also found in a Homily attributed to St. Amphilochius ; 
and in that sixth Oration of Proclus, which, according to 
Tiilemont and Ceillier, is not to be considered genuine. It is 
also found in a work incorrectly attributed to St. Augustine. 

3. St. Chrysostom is, par excellence, the Commentator of the 
Church. As Commentator and Preacher, of all the Fathers, he 



NOTES. 143 

carries about tim the most intense personality. In this lies his 
very charm, peculiar to himself. He is ever overflowing with 
thought, and he pours it forth with a natural engaging frank- 
ness, and an unwearied freshness and vigour. If he was in the 
practice of deeply studying and carefully criticizing what he 
delivered in public, he had in perfection the rare art of con- 
cealing his art. He ever speaks from himself, not of course 
without being impregnated with the fulness of a Catholic train- 
ing, but still, not speaking by rule, but as if " trusting the lore 
of his own loyal heart." On the other hand, if it is not a 
paradox to say it, no one carries with him so little of the 
science, precision, consistency, gravity of a Doctor of the 
Church, as he who is one of the greatest. The difficulties are 
well known which he has occasioned to school theologians : his 
obiter dicta about our Lady are among them. 

On the whole then I conclude that these three Fathers supply 
no evidence that, in what they say of her having failed in faith 
or humility on certain occasions mentioned in Scripture, they 
are reporting the decisions of Apostolical Tradition. 

Such difficulties as the above are not uncommon in the 
writings of the Fathers. I will mention several : — 

1. St. Gregory Nyssen is a great dogmatic divine ; he too, like 
St. Basil, is of the school of Origen ; and, in several passages 
of his works, he, like Origen, declares or suggests that future 
punishment will not be eternal. Those Anglicans who con- 
sider St. Chrysostom's passages in his Commentary on the 
Gospels to be a real argument against the Catholic belief of 
the Blessed Virgin's sinlessness, should explain why they do 
not feel St. Gregory Nyssen's teaching in his Catechetical 
Discourse, an argument against their own belief in the eternity 
of punishment. 

2. Again, they believe in the proper divinity of our Lord, in 
spite of Bull's saying of the Ante-Niceue Fathers, " nearly all 
the ancient Catholics, who preceded Arius, have the appear- 
ance of being ignorant of the invisible and incomprehensible 
(^immensam) nature of the Son of God ;" an article of faith 
expressly contained in the Athanasian Creed, and enforced by 
its anathema. 

3. The Divinity of the Holy Ghost is an integral part of the 



144 NOTES. 

fundamental doctrine of Christianity; yet St. Basil, in the 
fourth century, apprehending the storm of controversy which 
its assertion would raise, refrained from asserting it on an 
occasion when the Arians were on watch as to what he would 
say. And St. Athanasius took his part, on his keeping silence. 
Such inconsistencies take place continually, and no Catholic 
doctrine but suiFers from them at times, until what has been 
preserved by Tradition is formally pronounced to be apostolical 
by definition of the Church. 

Before concluding, I shall briefly take notice of two questions 
which may be asked me. 

1. How are we to account for the absence, at Antioch or 
Csesarea, of a tradition of our Lady's sinlessness ? I consider 
that it was obliterated or confused by the Arian troubles in the 
countries in which those Sees are included. 

It is not surely wonderful, if, in Syria and Asia Minor, the 
seat in the fourth century of Arianism and Semi-arianism, the 
prerogatives of the mother were obscured together with the 
essential glory of the Son, or if they who denied the tradition 
of His divinity, forgot the tradition of her sinlessness. Chris- 
tians in those countries and times, however religious themselves, 
however orthodox their teachers, were necessarily under pecu- 
liar disadvantages. 

Now let it be observed that Basil grew up in the very midst 
of Semi-arianism, and had direct relations with that portion of 
its professors who had been reconciled to the Church and 
accepted the Homoiision. It is not wonderful then, if he had 
no firm habitual hold upon a doctrine which (though Apo- 
stolical) was in his day so much in the background as yet 
all over Christendom, as our Lady's sinlessness. 

As to Chrysostom, not only was he in close relations with 
the once Semi-arian Cathedra of Antioch, to the disavowal of 
the rival succession there, recognized by Eome and Alexandria, 
but, as his writings otherwise show, he came under the teach- 
ing of the celebrated Antiochene School, celebrated, that is, 
at once for its Scripture criticism, and (orthodox as it was 
itself) for the successive outbreaks of heresy among its 
members. These outbreaks began in Paul of Samosata, were 



NOTES. 145 

continued in the Semi-arian pupils of Lucian, and ended in 
Nestorius. The famous Theodore, and Diodorus, of the same 
school, who, though not heretics themselves, have a bad name 
in the Church, were, Diodorus the master, and Theodore the 
fellow-pupil, of St. Chrysostom. (Vid. Avians of the Fourth 
Gent., p. 8, and Doctr. Bevel, p. 252.) Here then is a natural 
explanation, why St, Chrysostom, even more than St. Basil, 
should be wanting in a clear perception of the place of the 
Blessed Virgin in the Evangelical Dispensation. 

2. How are we to account for the passages in the Gospels, 
which are the occasion of the Fathers' remarks to her dis- 
paragement ? They seem to me intended to discriminate be- 
tween our Lord's work who is our Teacher and Eedeemer, and 
the ministrative office of His Mother. 

As to the words of Simeon, as interpreted by St. Basil and 
St. Cyril, there is nothing in the sacred text which obliges us 
to consider the "sword " to mean doubt rather than anguish; 
but Matth. xii. 46—50, with its parallels Mark iii. 31—35, 
and Luke viii. 19-— 21 ; Luke xi. 27, 28, and John ii. 4, re- 
quire some explanation. 

I observe then, that, when our Lord commenced His ministry, 
and during it, as one of His chief self-sacrifices. He separated 
Himself from all ties of earth, in order to fulfil the typical idea 
of a teacher and priest ; and to give an example to His priests 
after Him ; and especially to manifest by this action the car- 
dinal truth, as expressed by the Prophet, " I am, I am the 
Lord, and there is no Saviour besides Me." As to His Priests, 
they, after Him, were to be of the order of that Melchizedech, who 
was " without father and without mother ;" for " no man, being 
a soldier to God, entangleth himself with secular business:" 
and " no man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, 
is fit for the kingdom of God." As to the Levites, who were 
His types in the Old Law, there was that honourable history of 
their zeal for God, when they even slew their own brethren 
and companions who had committed idolatry ; " who said to his 
father and to his mother, I do not know you, and to his bre- 
thren, I know you not, and their own children they have not 
known." To this separation even from His Mother He refers 
by anticipation at twelve years old in His words, " How is it 

K 



146 NOTES. 

that you souglit Me ? Did you not know that I must be about 
My Father's business ? " 

This separation from her, with whom He had lived thirty 
years and more, was not to last beyond the time of His 
ministry. She seems to have been surprised when she first 
heard of it, for St. Luke says, on occasion of His staying iu 
the Temple, " they understood not the word, that He spoke to 
them." Nay, she seems hardly to have understood it at the 
marriage-feast ; but He, in dwelling on it more distinctly then, 
implied also that it was not to last long. He said, " "Woman, 
what have I to do with thee ? My hour is not yet come," 
— the hour of His triumph, when His Mother was to take 
her predestined place in His kingdom. In saying the hour was 
not yet come. He implied that the hour would come, when He 
would have to do with her, and she might ask and obtain from 
Him miracles. Accordingly, St. Augustine thinks that that 
hour had come, when on the Cross He said, " Consummatum 
est,'" and, after this ceremonial estrangement of some years. 
He recognized His mother and committed her to the beloved 
disciple. Thus by marking out the beginning and the end of 
the period of exception, when she could not exert her influence 
upon Him, He signifies more clearly, by the contrast, that her 
presence with Him, and her power, was to be the rule. In a 
higher sense than He spoke to the Apostles, He seems to 
address her in the words, " Because I have spoken these things, 
sorrow hath filled your heart. But I will see you again, and 
your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man shall take from 
you." {Vid. Sermon iii. in Sermons on Subjects of the Day, on 
" Our Lord's Last Supper and His First.") 



NOTEvS. 147 



NOTE D. PAGE 96. 

Canisius, in his work de Maria Deipard Virgine, p. 514, •while 
engaged in showing the carefulness with which the Church dis- 
tinguishes the worship of God from the eultus of the Blessed 
Virgin, observes, " Lest the Church should depart from Latvia 
(i. e. the worship of God) she has instituted the public suppli- 
cations in the Liturgy in perpetuity in such wise as to address 
them directly to God the Father, and not to the Saints, accord- 
ing to that common form of praying, * Almighty, everlasting 
God,' &c. ; and the said prayers which they also call ' Collects,' 
she generally ends in this way, 'through Jesus Christ, Thy 
Son, our Lord.' " He says more to the same purpose, but the 
two points here laid down are sufiicient ; viz. that as to the 
Latin Missal, Eitual, and Breviary, 1. Saints are not directly 
addressed in these books : and 2, prayers end with the name of 
Jesus. An apposite illustration of both of these, that is, in 
what is omitted and what is introduced, is supplied by the con- 
cluding prayer of the Offertory in the Latin Mass. If in any 
case the name of ' our Lady and all Saints ' may be substituted 
at the end of a prayer for our Lord's name, it would be 
when the object addressed is, not God the Father, but the Son, 
or the Holy Trinity; but let us observe how the prayer 
in question runs : — 

" Suscipe, Sancta Trinitas " — " Eeceive, Soly Trinity, 
this oblation which we make to Thee, in memory of the Pas- 
sion, Eesurrection, and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
and in lionour of the Blessed Mary, Ever- Virgin, of Blessed 
John Baptist, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of 
these and all Saints, that it may avail for their honour and our 
salvation, and that they may vouchsafe to intercede for us in 
heaven, whose memory we celebrate on earth, Through the same 
Clirist our Lord. Amen." 

When in occasional Collects the intercession of the Blessed 
Mary is introduced, it does not supersede mention of our Lord 

K 2 



148 NOTES. 

as the Intercessor, Thus in the Post-communion on the Feast 
of the Circumcision, — 

" May this communion, Lord, purify us from guilt ; and 
at the intercession of Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, 
make us partakers of the heavenly remedy, through the same 
Lord Jesus Christ. Amen." 

In like manner, when the Son is addressed, and the inter- 
cession of Mary and the Saints is supplicated. His Own merits 
are introduced at the close, as on the Feast of the Seven 
Dolours : — 

" God, at whose passion, according to the prophecy of 
Simeon, the most sweet soul of the glorious Virgin-Mother 
Mary was pierced through with the sword of sorrow, mercifully 
grant, that we, who reverently commemorate her piercing and 
passion, may, by the intercession of the glorious merits and 
prayers of the Saints who faithfully stood by the Cross, obtain 
the happy fruit of Thy Passion, who livest and reignest, &c." 

" We oifer to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, our prayers and 
sacrifices, humbly supplicating, that we, who renew in our 
prayers the piercing of the most sweet soul of Thy Blessed 
Mother Mary, by the manifold compassionate intervention of 
both her and her holy companions under the Cross, hy the 
merits of Thy death, may merit a place with the Blessed, who 
livest, &cr 

Now let us observe how far less observant of dogmatic ex- 
actness, how free and fearless, is the formal Greek devotion : — 

1. " We have risen from sleep, and we fall down before Thee, 
O good God; and we sing to Thee the x\ngelic Hymn, O 
powerful God. Holy, holy, holy art Thou, God ; have mercy on 
us through the Theotocos. 

" Thou hast raised me from my bed and slumber, O God. 
Lighten my mind, and open my heart and lips, to sing of Thee, 
Holy Trinity. Holy, holy, holy art Thou, God ; have mercy 
on us through the Theotocos. 

" Soon will come the Judge, and the deeds of all will be laid 
bare . . . Holy, holy, holy art Thou, God ; have mercy on us 
through the Theotocos." — Horologium, p. 2, Venei. 1836: vide 
also, pp. 34. 48. 52. Also, Eucholog. Venet. p. 358. 



NOTES. 149 

2. " God, who lookest on the earth, and makest it tremble, 
deliver us from the fearful threatenings of earthquake, Christ 
our God ; and send down on us Thy rich mercies, and save 
us, at the intercessions (Trpecr/Jeiats) of the Theotocos." — Ihid, 
p. 224. Vid. also Pentecostar. p. 14. 

3. " Holy God, . . . visit us in Thy goodness, pardon us 
every sin, sanctify our souls, and grant us to serve Thee in 
holiness all the days of our life, at the intercessions (Trpco-- 
/Setats) of the Holy Theotocos and all the Saints, &c." — EuchO' 
logium, p. 64. Tenet. 1832. 

4. " Again, and still again, let us beseech the Lord in peace. 
Help, save, pity, preserve us, O God [through] her, the all- 
holy. Immaculate, most Blessed, and glorious, (SiacfivXaiov ^[xa^ 
6 0eos, T^s Travaytas,) &c." — EucTiologium, p. 92. Venet. 1832. 
Vid. also Pentecostar. p. 232; diudi passim. 

5. " Lord, Almighty Sovereign, . . . restore and raise from 
her bed this Thy servant, &c. ... at the intercession (Tr/aeo-- 
)8etais) of the all-undefiled Theotocos and all the Saints." — 
Hid. p. 142. 

6. " Have mercy and pardon, (for Thou alone hast power to 
remit sins and iniquities,) at the intercession of Thy all-holy 
Mother and all the Saints." — Ibid. p. 150. 

7. " Lord God Almighty, . . . bless and hallow Thy place 
... at the intercession (Tr/aecrjSctats) of our glorious Lady, 
Mary, Mother of God and Ever- Virgin." — Eucholog. p. 389. 

Is the Blessed Virgin ever called "our Lady," as here, in 
the Latin Prayers? whereas it is a frequent title of her in 
the Greek. 

8. " Save me, my God, from all injury and harm, Thou who 
art glorified in Three Persons . . . and guard Thy flock at the 
intercessions (cvrcvfeo-tv) of the Theotocos." — Pentecostariv/m, 
p. 59. Venet. 1820. Vid. also Gear, EucJwlog. p. 30. 

9. " In the porch of Solomon there lay a multitude of sick 
. . . Lord, send to us Thy great mercies at the intercession 
(7rpccr/?etais) of the Theotocos." — Pentecostar. p. 84. Vid. also 
Gear, Eucholog. pp. 488. 543. 

10. " great God, the Highest, who alone hast immortality 
. . . prosper our prayer as the incense before Thee . . . that 
we may remember even in the night Thy holy Name, . . . and 



150 NOTES. 

rise anew in gladness of soul . . . bringing our prayers and 
supplications to Thy loving-kinduess in behalf of our own sins 
and of all Thy people, whom visit in mercy at the intercessions 
(irpeajSeiaLs) of the Holy Theotocos."— Ibid. p. 232. Yid. JIo- 
rolog. p. 192. Venet. 1836. 

11. Between the Trisagion and Epistle in Mass. " O Holy 
God, who dwellest in the holy place, whom with the voice of 
their Trisagion the Seraphim do praise, &c. . . . sanctify our 
souls and bodies, and grant us to serve Thee in holiness all the 
days of our life, at the intercession (TrpecrySeiats) of the Holy 
Theotocos and all the Saints." — EucJwlog. p. 64. Venet. 1832. 

12. In the early part of Mass. " Lift up the horn of Chris- 
tians, and send down on us Thy rich mercies, by the power of 
the precious and life-giving Cross, by the grace of Thy light- 
bringing, third-day resurrection from the dead, at the inter- 
cession (Trpeo-^etais) of our All-holy Blessed Lady Mary, Mo- 
ther of God and Ever- Virgin, and all Thy Saints." — Assemani, 
Codex Liturg. t. v. p. 71. Rite of St. James. 

13. At the Offertory at Mass. " In honour and memory of 
our singularly blessed and glorious Queen, Mary Theotocos and 
Ever- Virgin; at whose intercession, O Lord, receive, O Lord, 
this sacrifice unto Thy altar which is beyond the heavens." — 
Gear, Euchol. p. 58. Bite of St. Chrgsostom. 

14. In the Commemoration at Mass. " Cantors. Hail, Mary, 
full of grace, &c. &c. ... for thou hast borne the Saviour of 
our souls. Friest. [Eemember, Lord] especially the most 
Holy Immaculate, &c. . . . Mary. Cantors. It is meet truly 
to bless (ixaKapL^uv) thee, the Theotocos . . . more honourable 
than the Cherubim, &c. . . . thee we magnify, who art truly 
the Theotocos. O Eull of Grace, in thee the whole creation re- 
joices, the congregation of Angels, and the race of men, sanc- 
tified shrine, and spiritual Paradise, boast of virgins," &c. — 
Assemani, t. v. p. 44. Jerusalem Bite. 

15. In the Commemoration at Mass. " Priest. Especially 
and first of all, we make mention of the Holy, glorious, and 
Ever- Virgin Mary, &c. Deacon. Eemember her, Lord God, 
and at her holy and pure prayers be propitious, have mercy 
upon us, and favourably hear us. Priest. Mother of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, pray for me to thy Sou Only-begotten, who came 



NOTES. 161 

of thee, that, having remitted my sins and debts. He may 
accept from my humble and sinful hands this sacrifice, which is 
offered by my vileness on this altar, through thy intercession, 
Mother most holy." — Ibid. p. 186. Syrian Bite. 

16. Apparently, after the Consecration. " The JPriest in- 
censes th'ice before the Image {imagine') of the Virgin, and says : 
Eejoice, Mary, beautiful dove, who hast borne for us God, the 
"Word ; thee we salute with the Angel Gabriel, saying, Hail, 
full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Hail, Virgin, true Queen ; 
hail, glory of our race, thou hast borne Emmanuel. We 
ask, remember us, faithful advocate, in the sight, of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, that He put away from us our sins." — 
Ibid. t. \n.,pars 2da. in fin. p. 20. Alexandrian Rite. 

17. At the Communion in Mass. "Forgive, our God, 
remit, pardon me my trespasses as many as I have committed, 
whether in knowledge or in ignorance, whether in word or in 
deed. All these things pardon me, as Thou art good and kind 
to men, at the intercession (Trpeo-ySetais) of Thy all-unde- 
filed and Ever- Virgin Mother. Preserve me uncondemned, 
that I may receive Thy precious and undefiled Body, for the 
healing of my body and soul." — Goar, Eiichologium, p. 66. 

18. After Communion at Mass. " Lord, be merciful to 
us, bless us, let Thy countenance be seen upon us, and pity us. 
Lord, save Thy people, bless Thine heritage, &c., . . . through 
the prayers and addresses (orationes) which the Lady of us all, 
Mother of God, the divine (diva) and Holy Mary, and the four 
bright holy ones, Michael," &c., &c. — Eenaudot, Liturg. 
Orient, t. i. p. 29. Coptic Bite of St. Basil. Vid. also ibid, 
pp. 29. 37. 89. 515, of St. Basil, Coptic, of St. Gregory, Coptic, 
of Alexandria, GreeJc, and of Ethiopia. 

19. After Communion at Mass. " We have consummated 
this holy service (X^iTovpyiav), as we have been ordered, O 
Lord . . . we, sinners, and Thine unworthy servants, who have 
been made worthy to serve at Thy holy altar, in offering to 
Thee the bloodless sacrifice, the immaculate Body and the 
precious Blood of the Great God, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, to 
Thy glory, the unoriginate Eather, and the glory of Him, Thy 
only-begotten Son, and of the Holy Ghost, good, life-giving, 
and consubstantial with Thee. We ask a place on Thy right 



152 NOTES. 

Land in Thy fearful and just day through the intercession (8ia 
Twv TTpccrfSeiMv) and prayers of our most glorious Lady, Mary, 
Mother of God, and Ever- Virgin, and of all saints." — Assemani, 
Cod. Liturg. t. vii. p. 85. Mite of Alexandria. 

20. After Communion at Mass. " We thank Thee, Lord, 
Lover of men, Benefactor of our souls, that also on this day 
Thou hast vouchsafed us Thy heavenly and immortal mysteries. 
Direct our way aright, confirm us all in Thy fear, &c., ... at 
the prayers and supplications of the glorious Theotocos and 
Ever- Virgin Mary, and of all Thy saints." — Eucholog. p. 86. 
Venet. 1832. 

21. Concluding words of Mass. " Blessed is He who has 
given us His holy Body and precious Blood. We have received 
grace and found life, by virtue of the Cross of Jesus Christ. 
To Thee, Lord, we give thanks, &c. Praise to Mary, who 
is the glory of us all, who has brought forth for us the Eu- 
charist." — Eenaudot, Liturg. Oriejit. t. i. p. 522. Mite of 
Ethiopia. 

I will add some of the instances, which have caught my eye 
in these ecclesiastical books, of expressions about the Blessed 
Virgin, which, among Latins, though occurring in some Anti- 
phons, belong more to the popular than to the formal and 
appointed devotions paid to the Blessed Virgin. 

22. *' Thee we have as a tower and a harbour, and an accept- 
able ambassadress (Trpia-^iv) to the God whom thou didst 
bear. Mother of God who hadst no spouse, the salvation of 
believers." — Pentecostar. p. 209. Venet. 1820. 

23. "0 Virgin alone holy and undefiled, who hast mira- 
culously (do-TTopws) conceived God, intercede (Trpe'a-ySeue) for the 
salvation of the soul of thy servant." — Eucliolog. p. 439. 
Venet. 1832. 

24. " Show forth thy speedy protection and aid and mercy 
on thy servant, and still the waves, thou pure one, of vain 
thoughts, and raise up my fallen soul, O Mother of God. Eor 
I know, O Virgin, I know that thou hast power for whatever 
thou wiliest."— JJiW. p. 679. 

25. " Joachim and Anna were set free from the reproach of 
childlessness, and Adam and Eve from the corruption of death, 
O undefiled; in thy holy birth. And thy people keeps festival 



NOTES. 153 

upon it, being ransomed from the guilt of their offences in 
crying to thee. The barren bears the Theotocos, and the nurse 
of Life."— -Hbro%. p. 198. Venet. 1836. 

26. " Let us now run earnestly to the Theotocos, sinners as 
we are, and low, and let us fall in repentance, crying from the 
depth of our souls. Lady, aid us, taking compassion on us. 
Make haste, we perish under the multitude of our offences. 
Turn us not, thy servants, empty away ; for we have thee as 
our only hope." — Ibid. p. 470. Yid. "My whole hope I repose 
in thee."— Triodion, p. 94. Venet. 1820. 

27. " We have gained thee for a wall of refuge, and the all- 
perfect salvation of souls, and a release (TrAaTucrfiov) in afflic- 
tions, and in thy light we ever rejoice ; Queen, even now 
through suffering and danger preserve us." — Ibid. p. 474. 

28. "By thy mediation, Virgin, I am saved." — Triod. p. 6. 
Venet. 1820. 

29. " The relief of the afflicted, the release of the sick, 
Virgin Theotocos, save this city and people; the peace 
of those who are oppressed by war, the calm of the tem- 
pest-tost, the sole protection of the faithful."— Goar, Eucholog^ 
p. 478. 

30. All through the Office Books are found a great number of 
Collects and Prayers to the Blessed Virgin, called Theotocia, 
whereas in the Latin Offices addresses to her scarcely get 
beyond the Antiphons. There are above 100 of them in the 
Euchology, above 170 in the Pentecostarium, close upon 350 in 
the Triodion. These, according to Eenaudot, are sometimes 
collected together into separate volumes. {Liturg. Orient, t. ii, 
p. 98.) 

81. At p. 424 of the Sorologium there is a collection of 100 
invocations in her honour, arranged for the year. 

32. At p. 271 of the Euchologium, is a form of prayer to her 
" in the confession of a sinner," consisting of thirty-six collects, 
concluding with a Gospel, supplication, &c. If there were 
any doubt of the difference which the Greeks make between 
her aud the Saints, one of these would be evidence of it. 
" Take with you (Trapa.Xa/3e) the multitude of Archangels and of 
tlie heavenly hosts, and the Forerunner, «fcc., . . . and make 



154 NOTES. 

intercession {yrpiapuav), Holy One, in my behalf with God," 
p. 275. Vid. also ibid. p. 390, &c. 

33. There is another form of prayer to her at p. 640, of forty- 
three collects or verses, " in expectation of war," arranged to form 
an Iambic acrostic, " O undefiled, be the ally of my household." 
Among other phrases we read here, " Thou art the head com- 
mander (6 apxta-Tpdrriyo's) of Christians ;"..." They in their 
chariots and horses, we, thy people, in thy name;" " with thy 
spiritual hand cast down the enemies of thy people ;" " Thy 
power runs with thy will {yvvhpojxov cx"^), «fec." "Deliver 
not thine heritage, holy one, into the hands of the heathen, 
lest they shall say, where is the Mother of God in whom they 
trusted?" "Hear from thy holy Temple, thy servants, O 
pure one, and pour out God's wrath upon the Gentiles that do 
not know thee, and the kingdoms that have not faithfully 
called upon thy celebrated name." 

34. It is remarkable, that, not only the Jacobites, but even the 
Nestorians agree with the Orthodox in the unlimited honours 
they pay to the Theotocos. "JSTo one," says Eenaudot, "has 
accused the Orientals of deficiency in the legitimate honours, 
which are the right of the Deipara; but many have charged 
them with having sometimes been extravagant in that devotion, 
and running into superstition, which accusation is not without 
foundation." — t. i. p. 257. 

Another remark of his is in point here. The extracts above 
made are in great measure from Greek service-books of this day ; 
but even those which are not such are evidence according to 
their date and place of opinions and practices, then and there 
existing. " Their weight does not depend on the authority of 
the writers, but on the use of the Churches. Those prayers 
had their authors, who indeed were not known ; but, when 
once it vras clear that they had been used in Mass, who their 
authors were ceased to be a question." — t. i. p. 173. The 
existing manuscripts can hardly be supposed to be mere com- 
positions, but are records of rites. 

I say then, first : — That usage, which, after a split has taken 
place in a religious communion, is found to obtain equally iu 
each of its separated parts, may fairly be said to have existed 



NOTES. 155 

before the split occurred. The concurrence of Orthodox, Nes- 
torian, and Jacobite in the honours they pay to the Blessed 
Virgin, is an evidence that those honours were paid to her in 
their " Undivided Church." 

Next : — Passages such as the above, taken from the formal 
ritual of the Greeks, are more compromising to those who pro- 
pose entering into communion with them, than such parallel 
statements as occur in unauthoritative devotions of the Latins. 



156 NOTES, 



NOTE E. PAGE 113. 

I find the following very apposite passage at note t, p. 390, 
of Vol. I. of Mr. Morris's " Jesus the Son* of Mary," a work 
full of learning, which unhappily I forgot to consult, till my 
Letter was finished and in type. 

" An error of this sort [that our Lady is in the Holy Eucha- 
rist] was held by some persons, and is condemned in the fol- 
lowing language by Benedict XIV.[?], as has been pointed out 
to me by my old and valued friend, Father Eaber : ' This doc- 
trine was held to be erroneous, dangerous, and scandalous, and 
the cultus was reprobated, which in consequence of it, they 
asserted was to be paid to the most Blessed Virgin in the 
Sacrament of the Altar.' " 

Lambertini de Canonizatione Sanctorum. Lib. iv. p. 2, c. 31, 
n. 32. 

De cultu erga Deiparam in Sacramento Altaris. 

Non multis abhinc annis prodiit Liber de cultu erga Deipa- 
ram in Sacramento altaris, auctore Patre Zephyrino de Someire 
Eecollecto Sancti Francisci, in quo asserebatur, in Sacramento 
altaris aliquam illius partem adesse, eandem videlicet camera, 
quam olim ejus sanctissima anima vivificavit, eumdemque ilium 
sanguinem, qui in ejus venis continebatur, et ipsum lac, quo ejus 
ubera plena erant. Addebatur, nos habere in Sacramento non 
tantum sanguinem Deiparse, quatenus in carnem et ossa Christi 
mutatus est, sed etiam partem sanguinis in propria specie ; 
neque solum veram carnem ipsius, sed etiam aliquid singulorum 
membrorum, quia sanguis, et lac, ex quibus formatum et nutri- 
tum fuit corpus Christi, missa fuerunt ab omnibus et singulis 
membris Beatissimse Virginis. 

Etiam Christophorus de Vega in volumine satis amplo, quod 
inscribitur, THEOLOQLA MARIANA Lugduni edito ann. 
1G53, fuaius ea omnia prosecutus est : sed Theophilus Kaynau- 



NOTES. 157 

dus in Buis Diptychis Marianis t. 7. p. 65, ea reprobat, asserit- 
que haeresim sapere juxta Guidonem Carmelitam in Summa de 
li(Bresihus tract, de Ticeresi Grcecorum c. 13., cujus verba sunt 
haec : " Tertius decimus error Grcecorum est. Dicunt enim, quod 
reliquicB Panis consecrati sunt reliquice corporis Beatce Virginia . 
Hie error stultitice et amentice plenus est. Nam corpus Christi 
sub qualilihet parte TiosticB consecratee integrum manet. Itaque 
qucelihet pars, a tota consecrata hostia divisa et separata, est 
verum corpus Christi. Hcereticum autem est etfatuum diceref 
quod corpus Christi sit corpus Virginis matris suce, sicut hcere- 
ticum esset dieere, quod Christus esset Beata Virgo ; quia dis' 
tinctorum hominum distincta sunt corpora, nee tantus honor 
dehetur corpori virginis, quantus deietur corpori Christi, cui 
ratione Divini Suppositi dehetur honor latrice, non corpori Vir- 
ginis. Igitur dieere, reliquias hostice consecratee esse reliquias 
corporis Beatce Virginis est hcereticum manifested 

Porro Tbeologorum Princeps D. Thomas 3 part, qucest. 31, 
art. 5, docet primo, Christi corpus conceptum fuisse ex Beatas 
Virginis castissirais et purissimis sanguinibus non quibuscun- 
que, sed "perductis ad quamdam ampliorem digest ionem per virtu- 
tem generativam ipsius, ut essent materia apta ad conceptum," 
cum Christi conceptio fuerit secundum conditionem naturae; 
materiamque aptam, sive purissimum sanguinem in conceptione 
Christi sola Spiritus Sancti operatione in utero Virginis aduna- 
tam, et in prolem formatum fuisse ; ita ut vere dieatur corpus 
Christi ex purissimis et castissimis sanguinibus Beatae Virginis 
fuisse formatum. Docet secundo, non potuisse corpus Christi 
forraari de aliqua substantia, videlicet de carne et ossibus 
Beatissimae Virginis, cum sint partes integrantes corpus ipsius ; 
ideoque subtrahi non potuissent sine corruptione, et ejus dimi- 
nutione : illud vero, quod aliquando dicitur, Christum de Beata 
Virgine carnem sumpsisse, intelligendum esse et explicandum, 
non quod materia corporis ejus fuerit actu caro, sed sanguis 
qui est potentia caro. Docet demum tertio, quomodo subtrahi 
potuerit ex corpore Adam aliqua ejus pars absque ipsius dimi- 
nutione, cum Adam institutus ut principium quoddam humanas 
naturae, aliquid habuerit ultra partes sui corporis personales 
quod ab eo subtractum est pro formanda Heva, salva ipsius 



158 NOTES. 

integritate in ratione perfect! corporis humani: qua? locum 
habere non potuerunt in Beatissima Yirgine, qure uti singu- 
lare individuum habuit perfectissimum corpus humanum, et 
aptissimam materiem ad Christi corpus formandum, quantum 
est ex parte feminae, et ad ejus naturalem generationem. Ex 
quo fit, ut non potuerit, salva integritate Beatae Virginia, 
aliquid subtrahi, quod dici posset de substantia corporis 
ipsius. 

Itaque, cum per banc doctrinam, Pidei principiis conjunctis- 
simam, directe et expressis verbis improbata remanserint asserta 
in citato libro Patris Zephyrini, ejus doctrina habita est tan- 
quam " erronea, periculosa, et scandalosa,^'' reprobatusque fuit 
cultus, quera ex ea praestandum Beatissima) Virgini in Sacra- 
mento altaris asserebat. Loquendi autem formulae a nonnullis 
Patribus adhibitae, Caro Mariae est caro Christi Etc. NoMs 
carnem Marice manducandum ad salutem dedit, ita explicandas 
sunt, non ut dicamus, in Christo aliquid esse, quod sit Marias ; 
sed Christum conceptum esse ex Maria Virgine, materiam ipsa 
ministrante in similitudinem natures et speciei, et ideo filium 
ejus esse. Sic, quia caro Christi fuit sumpta de David, ut 
expresse dicitur ad Bomanos 1. " Quifactus est ex semine David 
secundum carnem," David dicitur Christus, ut notat S. Augus- 
tinus enarrat. in Psalm. 144, num.2. " Intelligitur laus ipsi 
David, latis ipsi Christo. Christus autem secundum carnem 
David, quia Mlius David." Et infra : " Quia itaque ex ipso 
Christus secundum carnem, ideo David." Est item solemnis 
Scripturae usus, loquendo de parentibus, ut caro unius vocitetur 
caro alterius. Sic Laban Oen. 29 dixit Jacob. : " Os meum es, et 
caro mea;" et Judas, loquendo de fratre suo Joseph, Oen. 27. 
ait : " Frater enim, et caro nostra est ;" et Lev. 18 legitur : 
" Soror patris tui caro est patris tui, et soror matris tu<s caro 
est matris tuce ;" absque eo quod hinc inferri possit, ut in 
Jacob fuerit aliqua actualis pars corporis Laban, aut in Joseph 
pars Judas, aut in filio pars aliqua patris. Igitur id solum 
affirmare licet, in Sacramento esse carnem Christi assumptam 
ex Maria, ut ait Sanctus Ambrosius relatus in canone Omnia, 
de Consecrat. distinct. 2 his verbis : " Hcec caro mea est pro 
mundi vita, et, ut mirabilitts loguar, non alia plane, quam quce 



NOTES. 159 

nata est de Maria, et passa in cruee, et resurrexit de sepulcro ; 
hcec, inq^uam, ipsa est." Et infra loquens de corpore Christi: 
'■'■ Illud vere, illud sane, quod sumptum est de Virgine, quod 
jyassum est, et sepultum," 

Since the first edition of this Letter a correspondent of tlie 
"Weekly Register has pointed out that Oswald's work(vid. supr. 
p. 103) is on the Index. Vide page 5 of " Appendix Librorum 
Prohibitorum a die G Septembris, 1852, ad mensem junium, 

1858." 



THE END. 



GILBERT AND RlVINGTOy, PRINTERS, ST. JOHN'S SQUARE, LONDON.